ELIZABETH HAZEN: BACK ROADS WITH A WHITE CANE
ISBN 1 893823 13 X
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This page last updated: 13th October 2008.
|ELIZABETH HAZEN: BACK ROADS WITH A WHITE CANE|
There are many delights in this little chapbook, not least of which is its very first haiku:
so much sparrow song in the shape of a bush falling snowI imagine that Elizabeth Hazen wrote this during the period when she was blind (she was without sight for three years). It's an intriguing poem — the swelling song taking perhaps a remembered shape, against the background tactility of falling snow.
There are many such poems in this collection; some, as in the faintly sinister
breathless heat a cloud of cigar smoke on the empty roadmake a powerful and intense olfactory impression. Ms Hazen's language is always uncomplicated, and if there are poems I don't appreciate fully, it is because her locations and creatures are sometimes alien to me — as in
bluebird song the smell of torn grass and lanolinThis lovely, delicate poem with its especial combination of bluebird, grass and lanolin doesn't mean as much to me as it should. Yes, 'the smell of torn grass' but 'bluebird song', 'and lanolin' ... mea culpa! I should at least know what the oil at the base of sheep's wool smells like.
Ms Hazen, in her introduction, invites the reader to wander with her 'on the back roads' —
the sway of a tree against my shoulder long eveninga walk that will enchant all lovers of haiku.
|reviewer: Michael Bangerter.|