NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
VICTOR P GENDRANO: RUSTLE OF BAMBOO LEAVES
Lulu Enterprises Inc.
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ISBN 1 4116 6215 6
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VICTOR P GENDRANO: RUSTLE OF BAMBOO LEAVES

The haiku

	a wildflower blooms
	in the rotten stump
	home on parole
is followed by four pages of critique by James W Hackett who attempts to answer the age old question of "what is the spirit of haiku"

Other haiku are commented on by Susumu Takaguji and others mostly within the context of an internet forum. The comments illustrate the kind of feedback and constructive criticism one finds in such fora. After a while though they do tend to become over-bearing and it is good to find a section of haiku without comments

Several haiku are illustrated by Angelee Deodhar, Ashe Wood and others.

Gendrano is a Filipino and there is one section of haiku in English and Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, preceded by two examples of the "tanaga" a short four-line form written in the Philippines from the 1500s.

There is a fourteen-page section with a selection of senryu. Despite a somewhat vacuous introduction by Susumu Takaguchi, it is a good mix of comic and tragic pieces and very satisfying:
	late autumn sale
	the chemo patient picks
	a blonde wig
	
		summer cleanup
		in her daughter's room
		a box of condoms
Less satisfying are a number of haiku sequences, but then we come to some interesting haibun and quite excellent tanka. The poet also explores sijo and the cinquain and produces this CINQUAIN TRILOGY
	Because
	I showed my grief
	you were surprised yet knew
	there's inner hurt gnawing inside
	my soul.
	
	But then
	aren't we forced
	by social norms to hide
	our fears lest our loved ones suffer
	from them?
	
	I take
	my manly role
	seriously as I can.
	Yet do they know that I also
	feel pain?
There is a lot packed into this book of over 220 pages. Is there too much? Perhaps. Should it have been more severely edited? Probably. Would I recommend this book anyway? Certainly.
reviewer: Mandy Smith.