NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
HAIKU FOR LOVERS
compiled by Manu Bazzano
MQ Publications Ltd
12 The Ivories
6-8 Northampton Street
London
N1 2HY
UK
ISBN 1 84072 412 9
£9.99

HAIKU FÜR LIEBENDE
Aus dem Englischen übertragen von Hans Christian Meiser
Patmos
Düsseldorf
Germany
ISBN 3 491 45053 5

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This page last updated: 13th October 2008.
HAIKU FOR LOVERS

This is a gorgeous little hardback book, around 250 pages, one or two haiku per page. The production is magnificent. Each page is well-designed. The haiku are set out in readable fonts that clash neither with the changing background colours nor the many illustrations which range from simple haiga and pretty patterns to more elaborate artwork.

I suppose I should declare some interest in so far as I am one of the contributors. But even if weren't I would love this book anyway. The list of contributors reads like a who's who of contemporary haikuists, although there are also some translations of Basho and other masters.

The book has three sections, HONEYMOON, BITTERSWEET and HARMONY. Such is the nature of the work that you can only appreciate it by opening it at random and reading a double-page at a sitting. The poems subtly balance each other, for example, Carol Montgomery's

		hearing us argue
	our old dog tiptoes past
		her empty water bowl
faces Jane Whittle's
	if I were a cat
	I could sit on your crossword
	with my back to you
Is there anything critical to say about this book? Well I could quibble over some of the statements in the introduction, the use of the plural haikus and the over-emphasis on haiku being a Zen moment. But I suspect most readers will skip the intro anyway and dive into the book.

Whilst this is certainly a book for lovers of haiku, it is much more than that — it is haiku book for lovers, whether they know anything about haiku or not, to be simply enjoyed. At a penny under a tenner it would make an excellent Valentines, birthday, anniversary, Christmas or anytime gift.

reviewer: Gerald England