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Three World Haiku Anthologies

WHR March 2019


Three World Haiku Anthologies

In this issue, I wish to talk about the following three world haiku anthologies.


Wild Flowers, New Leaves, a Collection of World Haiku

by 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 (The reader of this column is entitled to a special price (half price plus the same p & p), Send your order with the mention of “WHR March 2019 From the Editor’s Desk”   
to: susumu.takiguchi@btinternet.com  Your copy will be dispatched on the receipt of payment.


Fuga No Makoto – Ten Years of World Haiku Review 2008 – 2017, The World Haiku Club, edited by Rohini Gupta, published on Amazon 2019.

This publication is one of the major projects to celebrate the tenth anniversary of
the re-launch in 2008 of WORLD HAIKU REVIEW (originally founded in 2000). It was launched in February 2019 at TRIVENI World Haiku Utsav 2019, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India.

Available as an ebook worldwide on the Amazon of your country. Print editions will be coming soon. 
Amazon.com        Amazon.uk


Naad Anunaad an anthology of contemporary world haiku, edited by Kala Ramesh as Editor-in-Chief & Sanjuktaa Asopa, Shloka Shankar as Editors, first published in 2016 by Vishwakarma Publications, Pune, India, www.vpindia.co.i, info@vpindia.co.in, printed by Repro India Ltd., Mumbai, 235 pages, cover art by Alaka Yeravadekar, cover design by Geeta Dharmarajan, ISBN: 978-9385665-33-2, Indian Rupee 340

We at The World Haiku Club have brought out two world haiku anthologies since it was founded in 1998. The first one was published in 2002, entitled WILD FLOWERS, NEW LEAVES - A COLLECTION OF WORLD HAIKU - , and the second one this year, hot out of press, under the title of Fuga No Makoto – Ten Years’ of the World Haiku Review.

Taking the second anthology, Fuga No Makoto first, the most important feature of it 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 Revieware 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.

Hence, the “world haiku”. Strictly speaking, it is not even “international haiku” because this connotes, taken literally, between nations such as France and Australia. The World Haiku Club has removed national boundaries.

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 theworld way back in 1998, though it had been touched on as a future possibility by the likes of Blyth 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 it unprecedented success and fame. Thus, I became its Acting Editor-in-Chief, hoping to find someone suitable in good time to take over. Rohini became in charge of all technical side of the magazine production. Kala Ramesh joined as Deputy-Editor-in-Chief. She had presided over the online WHCindia which was one of the most active and successful of all the World Haiku Club’s haiku mailing lists.

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 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).

WHC’s first world haiku anthology, Wild Flowers, New Leaves, published in 2002, covers three years. At that time, there were  not a lot of international haiku anthologies around. Though few in number, they were f 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 with some international coverage attached, and therefore not really wholesale world anthologies.

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.

Fuga No Makoto 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 groups 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

        and silence
        fall together

Edith Hannah

        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

        from my neighbour’s bonfire
        into another grey morning

Alison Williams

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

Kirsty Karkow

        the waves fall
        in their own depth

Sonia Cristina Coman

        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


        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

        the smell of porridge drifts
        into the garden

John Crook

        window closed
        the sea’s sound
        rolls back

Janice M. Bostok

The third world haiku anthology I wish to introduce here, Naad Anunaad an anthology of contemporary world haikuis not a publication of the World Haiku Club. It was brought out by Indian haiku poets in September 2016 and became the first international haiku anthology to come from India. So, it’s an Indian publication made in India by the Indians through and through.

However, its Editor-in-Chief, Kala Ramesh, is also well-known as our own WHR’s Deputy Editor-in-Chief since 2008. Besides, she was the head of the successful WHCindia for many years, which was one of the most active online haiku fora at WHC. There were not many online haiku mailing lists around that time, except for such famous ones as the Shiki forum. In that sense alone, this anthology has some connection with WHR, however faint it might be. A sister book? A cousin, or a distant relative? That is why I am talking about it in this column ratherthan in my Book Review. Anyway, whatever Kala touches turns gold.

Naad Anunaad became an instant success. For a haiku book, a large number of people have been buying it. In the year following its publication, it received BEST ANTHOLOGY, Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award 2017. Its reputation is rising all the time and

I hope this article will also help add to it even further. Its 746 haiku poems by 231 poets from 26 countries afford everybody a panoramic view of representative haiku around the world, including many by Indian haiku poets. There is a separate section for young people, mostly Indians, age ranging from 7 to 18. 
Naad means primordial sound in Sanskrit and anunaad means resonance, according to the book. Resonance in haiku has been widely talked about. Its importance is emphasised in this anthology as the keynote in a poem of such a few words as haiku. The choice of this title, Naad Anunaad, is therefore very important to understand the intentions of its editors.

In 2008, I met Kala and many of her colleagues and friends for the first time when we had the Ninth World Haiku Festival in India at the wonderful Art of Living Ashram in Bangalore. I was impressed by the high standards of their haiku and by thespeed with which it was becoming their pride and joy. But it was their‘potential’ which attracted my attention most. Being an oldest civilisation, India is endowed with the incredible richness, diversity and depth, in time and space, of that which is fundamental for human race, mythology, history, religion, philosophy, knowledge, language, art, music, literature etc. If haiku were to develop in an ideal way somewhere outside Japan, it would be countries such as India.

This is indeed the Indian soil out of which, I thought, haiku would grow and grow well. The result would be Indian haiku, distinct from other haiku. In Naad Anunaad, Kala gives an important introduction which resonates with my observation, an introduction which is as interesting to read as the haiku poems on pages that follow. How many volumes will be needed to talk about over 4,000 years’ history of India? Kala talks about it in a few pages, depicting vividly its characteristics which have manifested themselves in various human activities, ranging from poetry, art, music, dancing to religion and philosophy. They are the rich fertilisers to help grow haiku from the fertile ground of India. The little irony of this introduction is that it should really be one for an anthology of Indian haiku and not for that of world haiku, but it doesn’t matter. Since this anthology was conceived in India by an Indian, planned and executed in India and exported from India, why not give the detailed background which explains the motives and significance of such an ambitious project?