From the Editor's Desk

WHR December 2019

From the Editors Desk

Two WHC World Haiku Anthologies 


In a confused haiku world such as we have today, good haiku anthologies are needed more than ever whether they are individual poets’ own anthologies or public ones such as world haiku anthologies. Apart from giving immense pleasure to the reader, good anthologies have an equally important role to play. And that is what might be called an educational or practical role. Nothing teaches us better than good haiku examples and what better place is there to encounter such examples in abundance than good anthologies?

There are of course some good haiku textbooks, or good articles and online teachings on the subject. But these are after all words and theories, often too abstract or theoretical at best and dogmatic or belligerent at worst. What we need are frequent opportunities to learn haiku by good examples, and by many, many of them at that. Good anthologies are the answer. They also provide the reader with reliable criteria by which to tell good haiku from bad, especially if and when people are at a loss in this regard or have never been sure in the first place.

The important point is that an anthology must be good. The key word is “good” because there are not so many of them around in the sea of haiku publications. World haiku anthologies are few and far between anyway, let alone good ones. We have seen many anthologies whose quality is questionable, or else those having only a very small proportion of good haiku with the rest best be scrapped. Beware of them because you might get wrong signals and false impressions which are harmful to your own haiku-writing.

*

We, at World Haiku Club, have produced two world haiku anthologies which we feel we can recommend to the reader, one in 2002 and the other a brand new one in 2019.


 

Fuga No Makoto – 

Ten Years of World Haiku Review 2008 – 2017,

Published by the World Haiku Club, edited by Rohini Gupta, 

published as an ebook on Amazon 2019.

Links  -   Amazon.UK      Amazon.com       Amazon,in    Amazon.jp

B07N5L8ND1 - for any other country copy this ASIN code into the Amazon search bar and it will open the books page in your country. 


To deal with the latter first, Fuga No Makoto – Ten Years of World Haiku Review 2008 – 2017, this world haiku anthology is the latest and therefore the most up to date publication of the kind, hot from the cyber press. It has already been enjoying favourable reviews and begun to have what could be an enormous impact on the world haiku community hungry for good-quality haiku. Those who have already read it are cordially invited to tell their friends, haiku circles, magazines or online haiku forums about it so that it would be more widely read and enjoyed.

As the title indicates, the anthology is a collection of crème de la crème (best ten) of each of the three sections of haiku (Classical, Shintai and Vanguard) contained in each issue of World Haiku Review published from 2008, when WHR was resurrected, to 2017, a cutting-off point for producing the anthology. These excellent haiku poems were carefully gathered and edited by the anthology’s editor, Rohini Gupta, and innovatively arranged and classified by her to the reader’s delight. The impressive editorship has been recognised and given accolade. Rohini Gupta is also the designer of the apt cover of the anthology. Fuga No Makoto is what Basho taught his disciples (and through them, us) and himself kept always at the forefront of his mind as the essence of haikai. It means poetic truth, sincerity and honesty.

What follows are excerpts from WHR’s March 2019 issue:

“…the most important feature of it (Fuga No Makoto Anthology) is the fact that it is not the usual kind of collection of international haiku gathered at a particular point in time but a rare compilation of ten years of the accumulated best world haiku which appeared on World Haiku Review. It is a very different way of providing a window through which to show representative world haiku over a significantly long time. In that sense, it is the largest in its scope in space and time…”

“…The readership, contributors and the theatre of activities of World Haiku Review are by its founding principle not restricted narrowly to one nation, region, language or culture but world-wide right from the start of its life in 2000...”

“…The term “world haiku” was coined by the World Haiku Club as a core concept of its world haiku movement for dissemination, study and development of haiku across the world way back in 1998, though it had been touched on as a future possibility by the likes of Blyth, Kyoshi and Hackett. It was little understood then. Even now, few understand it in real terms. The concept is too much ahead of time…”

“…As all the haiku poems included in the Fuga No Makoto anthology were selected from those which won the highest accolade of World Haiku Review in each issue: First, Second and Third Places, Seven Honourable Mentions (the best ten), Editor’s Choice (normally from the best three), it is showcasing, to use a fashionable term, representative samples of the best world haiku poems during the last decade. Therefore, it makes a good reference book, also…”

“…World Haiku Review was originally launched in the year 2000. At the height of its success, it was mysteriously destroyed by someone. However, despite this tragedy it was soon resurrected in 2008 by Rohini Gupta who voluntarily offered to help in putting it up back again online. I succeeded Debi Bender who, as WHR’s Editor-in-Chief, had created the original magazine and brought its unprecedented success and fame…”

“…March 2018 was the tenth anniversary of the re-launch of WHR. At Rohini’s suggestion, we decided to have a 12 months’ celebration culminating in three major projects: an anthology of ten years’ best haiku in WHR (proposed by Rohini who became in charge as its editor), an important haiku meeting in India (Kala Ramesh in charge) and the R. H. Blyth Award 2019 (myself in charge). All three projects were duly achieved and with great success. The results of all these were announced in a ceremony at the said haiku meeting in India in early February 2019 (The proper name of this is TRIVENI World Haiku Utsav 2019. It was held at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India and it is featured in this issue of WHR)…”

 

Note on how to buy the book step by step.

The book is an ebook on Amazon, which means it is not a print book and you will have to read it on a device like a smart phone or laptop. Since many have asked, here are the instructions on how to do it. 

(1) Create an account with Amazon by putting in your name, email and credit card details. 

(2) If you do not have a Kindle ebook reader you can still read the book on your smart phone, tablet or computer. For this you will need to download the Amazon kindle App from your phone store, Google play or Apple and install it on your smartphone, tablet or computer. 

(3) Open the app and type in the title of the book or copy this number for the Fuga anthology B07N5L8ND1and it will open the books page. 

(4) Click on buy now and click again to agree to your credit card details. That is done. The book will download in seconds and you can be reading it in the next two minutes. 

(5) You can have the same book on all your devices so you can carry it on phone when you travel and the computer at home. You can carry your whole library of books - a couple of hundred at least - on your phone to read whenever you please. 


 

WILD FLOWERS, NEW LEAVES  

A COLLECTION OF WORLD HAIKU 

The World Haiku Club, Edited, cover drawing & design by Susumu Takiguchi, First published in 2002 by Ami-Net International Press, UK, ISBN 1 902135 03 2, Printed and bound by Antony Rowe Ltd., UK, 278 pages, GBP 20.00 ($30.00, Є25.00, Yen 4,000) plus P & P, Send your order to: susumu.takiguchi@btinternet.com  You copy will be dispatched on the receipt of payment. A World Haiku Club memorial publication.

The second world haiku anthology published by the World Haiku Club in 2002 is called “WILD FLOWERS, NEW LEAVES - A COLLECTION OF WORLD HAIKU”.

The following is a reprint of the article which appeared in March 2019 issue of WHR:

The Anthology covers world haiku over three years. Around that time, there were not a lot of international haiku anthologies around. Though few in number, they were of high quality, the Cor van den Heuvel anthology 1974, George Swede/Randy Brooks anthology 2000, to name but a few. Even these are essentially national or regional anthologies of the poems written by local poets with some international authors included, and therefore not really wholesale world anthologies as such.

No one was using the phrase “world haiku” anyway (see the previous section), as it was initiated by the World Haiku Club amidst all the criticism and derision. So, this may well be the very first world haiku anthology in the true sense of the word, with the exception of Zoe Savina anthology published also in 2002. Its copies should be in libraries, schools and at any bookshelf of any haiku poet interested in haiku poems written by people of different nationalities, cultures and living places world-wide.

The New Leaves used in the title of the book reflect one of the aims of WHC, which is to reach out and find talented but obscure haiku poets or beginners of promise. Luckily, many of them got caught in the net and their haiku poems appear on many pages along with those by more seasoned haijin, some of whom are sadly no longer with us. The Wild Flowers are symbolically representing haiku, as opposed to garden flowers or shop flowers which are more ostentatious and extravagant, and crucially products of human artificiality, intervention or commerce.

WILD FLOWERS, NEW LEAVES anthology is organised differently from traditional ones which are typically based on seasons or authors. This should make the book more exciting and interesting to read. Broad areas are given as convenient groupings such as flowers & plants, landscape, universe, travel, situations, emotion or human condition. Then, each of these is given sub-divisions which are more specific themes, e.g. loneliness, sky, birds, stillness or time. It was amazing to see so many different things people wrote haiku about. To put it differently, it was amazing to realise how many different things haiku has the capacity to deal with. Some examples: 


            so lonely
            i stir the wind chimes
            evening rain

Pamela A. Babusci            


             August the sixth
            nineteen forty-five
            --the day man failed

Vladimir Devide 


            alone at the window
            with too much to do…
            I watch falling leaves

Debra Woolard Bender


            Her last breath
            a mist on my hand
            then, nothing.

Elizabeth Moura



<tribute to Princess Diana>

            lived as a mother
            suffered as a woman
            gone as an angel

Takashi Nonin


            in the midst
            of my depression
            the smell of a baked potato

Brian Tasker


            riffling through
            days and daisies
            we grow older

Zoe Savina


            Water, water please…
            the boy’s cries faded away
            Into a summer river

Mieko Kinai
         


            snow
            and silence
            fall together

Edith Hannah


            earthquake
            everything gone
            even tears

Johannes Manjrekar  

      

            learning to love
            this emptiness you left…
            spring dusk

Marjorie Buettner


            undying love
            from the yellowed letters
            a tiny worm

Yu Chang         


            conjugal visit –
            the bullet proof glass
            separates our kiss

 John W. Wisdom


            each drop of the icicle
            takes with it
            the moonlight

Ion Codrescu


            first butterfly
            settling from your finger
            to mine

Ferris Gilli


            travelling first-class
            missing the second-class conversation

Paul Conneally


            smoke
            from my neighbour’s bonfire
            into another grey morning

Alison Williams


            returning geese –
            dawn rises over the rim
            of my coffee cup

Kirsty Karkow


            endless
            the waves fall
            in their own depth

Sonia Cristina Coman


            bobbing
            in the washing machine
            acorn collection

Kris Kondo


            tourists chatter
            in a muddle of languages –
            the cackle of geese

Martin Lucas     

    

            poppies among
            daisies among poppies
            summer rain

David J. Platt    

   

            end of autumn –
            only thistle
            left in bloom

Stanford Forrester

 

        woman & rose inhaling each other

Ross Clark    

     

            the habit of looking
            where it used to be
            the mirror

Tom Clausen


            in the fire
            a log shifts
            the flow of thought

Christopher Herold


            A bit of birdsong
            before we start
            our engines

John Stevenson


            shop window sunspot
            a workman curls up
            into his wheelbarrow

Alan J. Summers  

         

            Bach on piano
            and falling rain
            this evening –

Serge Tome


            The repaired watch
            is fast… making up
            the lost time.

Milosav Doderovic   

      

            February sun
            the long pause between
            icicle drips

an’ya


            summer twilight
            a newborn gasps for breath
            in a trash can

Victor P. Gendrano   

      

            spring sundial;
            coffee cup’s shadow
            on the table

Mitsugu Abe 

         

            sunrise
            the smell of porridge drifts
            into the garden

John Crook     

      

            window closed
            the sea’s sound
            rolls back

Janice M. Bostok

 

Comments