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Hiss of Leaves (English Edition) eBook Kindle
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Several of the poems can be found online, including "noonday heat" here: [...]If you like dragonflies and haiku check that out. The publisher's page for the book has a few and points to several others.
On to the book itself ...
Billed on the website as a "contemplative haiku chapbook" it is that. If your view of haiku is the one you got in elementary school then perhaps you should visit the Wikipedia page for Haiku in English as these are certainly not all of the "standard" 5-7-5 syllable variety that you may imagine.
I first read the book on our Kindle and my re-reading was in the Kindle app on my 1st gen iPad. Thus, my comments are in some ways restricted to the .mobi version.
There are 36 poems in this chapbook and depending on the direction in which you hold the iPad you will see one or two poems at a time. I personally feel that it is best to ensure you are looking at one poem at a time. Haiku may be extremely short but they should be savored, perhaps read again after a few seconds, given time to settle into both your unconscious and conscious thought processes. Besides, with only 36 poems, if you were to race through the chapbook with little thought it might take you all of 4 minutes to read it and where's the return on your $4.99 in that?
These poems necessarily embrace the seasons and the natural world, but they also embrace the mundane world of humans. For instance, "bottle caps":
stuck in blacktop
One my favorites, "the brightness":
of the full moon
deepens the cold
I have yet to experience the snow in the high desert of Oregon to see if this is true here also, but it is certainly true in the Midwest and other places I've been. It seems as if the light from the full moon, illuminating the world it shines on, ought make the winter night a little warmer but it has the exact opposite effect. The poet has caught this perfectly.
One of the poems even made me look up a word, 'ristra.'
Is this chapbook worth $4.99? I find it hard to say as I did not pay for it, but I think that it probably is. I truly enjoyed it and look forward to re-reading it a few more times. That is better than I can say about many books of poetry. If you are unsure then have a look at the publisher's page for the book ( [...]) and read the poems there and follow a couple of the links provided. All in all, you can easily read 8 poems for free. If that isn't enough to decide whether you'll like it or not then I don't know what is.
Either way, keep an eye on Upper Rubber Boot Books. Maybe check out another of their titles or authors. Affordable poetry ebooks in multiple formats and DRM-free. I like their style!
'hiss of leaves
on the line'
whets my appetite for the lines to come. Perhaps my favourite (of many I like very much) is:
a pale dim moon
in the hallway'
This conjures up the whole of a wonderful holiday I spent in France last year.
Other titles, to give you a flavour of this book, are 'midnight snow', 'sea mist', 'dark pool' and 'we peel pears'. All food for the soul! The publisher is the wonderfully named 'Upper Rubber Boot'.
Haiku has always been my favorite form of poetry. If you can turn three short lines into something deep and meaningful that really sticks with me, then you've got my vote (you know, if we're voting for something).
Ingram's poems sound so crisp, but they're really soothing.
we peel pears
on the back steps
hands swarm with bees
If you didn't taste anything when you read that, then I don't know, maybe you're dead inside.
on a wardrobe shelf
cigar box of cedar chips
and dry broken insects
I love the sibilance in that. It makes me want to hug someone.
stuck in blacktop
I love that one so much I want to hang it on my wall.
Many of the poems brought back childhood memories of summertime fun
My favorite image is the idea of "a bruise blue sky"
My only negative was the format of the pages, I am sure the author had a purpose but it seemed wasteful to me to put one poem on each page.
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