Thursday, January 24, 2008

a handful of murmurs

The other day I mentioned how hard it is to resist the lure of the newest books on my to-be-read shelf. There are exceptions to this rule. Those books that I let gather a welcome coating of dust, because I don’t want to read them too soon, to savour the pleasure of looking forward to them.

The Haiku Year is such a book. A personal pledge between seven friends that made it into the public sphere. I waited about 5 years after its publication before I bought a copy, and as long again before I read it. But I began it early this year, and it’s proved to be well worth the wait.

Every new year I make a repeated resolution to read more poetry. Deep down I feel sure it will open my eyes wider to the world around me and in turn enrich my own writing. The introduction of this book makes a similar call to arms. It also gently disclaims -

‘We never intended for these to be published, they were just little gifts to one another across space.’

Haiku is about saying a lot in a few words. As such I don’t want to overburden the little green book with a wordy review. Suffice instead to share a few of my personal highlights. And a little picture - there are many like this throughout the book - those little scraps, tickets, packets that we pass over mostly without noticing.

While I can’t necessarily relate to the circumstances of some of these haiku as many are strongly of their moment and place which is far from mine, I can relate to the desire to hold onto those moments as they pass, and to share them with select friends.

1 comment:

dandelion said...

sounds like a beautiful book - (and i no it's not the point but i love the cover...!) ...x