Tag Archives: poetry

Haiku Book Reviews of Book Club Selections

These haiku book reviews, written as part of Chatham Community Library’s promotion of National Poetry Month, were crafted by our own librarian Sharen Faye.  Each book was a recent Chatham Community Library book club selection.  We invite you to submit your own haiku book reviews at http://tinyurl.com/chathamhaiku.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan
She sits in judgment.
He asks her to let him die.
What is God’s purpose?


The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Despite depression
Gold at Hitler’s Olympics
Nine row to glory


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Elderly couple
Childless, flee to Alaska,
find snow child and love

We now have an evening book club and a daytime book club, which both read the same title.  Our evening book club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:45 pm.  The daytime book club meets on the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 pm.  Check out these upcoming titles and join us for a lively discussion – newcomers are always welcome!

May:  In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
June:  Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman & Paul Clark Newell, Jr.
July:  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
August:  Factory Man by Beth Macy
September:  Ordinary Grace by William Kent Kruger
October:  Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
November:  The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward
December:  Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry

Celebrate National Poetry Month at the library!

“Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.  There is no happiness like mine.  I have been eating poetry.”  ~ Mark Strand

Come eat up some delicious poetry and prizes at the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro.  We would love to see your inner poet come out and show it, so we are hosting two poetry contests this April.

CONTEST #1: Haiku Book Review
Participate by writing your review of a library book in haiku form.
If your entry wins, we have a prize for you.  And it’s sweet.

The three top prizes will be awarded as follows:
*Top two Most Prolific Haiku Book Review Contributors (How many will you submit?)
*One grand prize to our Favorite Haiku

You can submit your poetry in one of three ways:
1) In person at the circulation desk
2) Via our online submission form at http://tinyurl.com/chathamhaiku
3) Via Twitter with the hashtag #ChathamHaiku, and tag us @CCPLib

CONTEST #2: Poetry in the Stacks Writing Challenge
Patrons write poems at the FIVE Poetry Stations located in the stacks, and can write poems for any or all of the following categories:
– The Biography poem
– Art as My Muse poem
– Imitation is the Greatest Form of Flattery poem
– News and Current Events poem
– Who Are You, Dear Patron poem

We have maps and information for you at the circulation desk for guidance.

Book Review – The Essential Haiku: Versions of Bashō, Buson, & Issa

The Essential Haiku: Versions of Bashō, Buson, & Issa edited by Robert Hass

For those looking for an introduction to Haiku, for those who love poetry, or for those who simply are looking for something new, try Robert Haas’s wondrous book, The Essential Haiku. Haas serves as editor and translator for a collection of haiku from three of Japan’s masters: Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa. These small poems are full of life, wisdom, and humor.

Matsuo Basho is perhaps the best known of the trio of masters. His Narrow Road to the Far North, considered his masterpiece, centers on one man’s solitary journey. There is, perhaps, no better poem about the feeling of longing often found in moments of solitude than this one of Basho’s:

         Even in Kyoto—
Hearing the cuckoo’s cry—
I long for Kyoto.

Yosa Buson, born some twenty years after Basho’s death, is often contrasted against Basho. Where Basho is a seeker, Buson is a painter. His poems capture still moments:

       Morning breeze,
the caterpillar’s hair.

Kobayashi Issa also writes about insects with humor and humanity in some of my favorite haiku:

       Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house


          Climb Mount Fuji,
O snail,
But slowly, slowly.

And another:

          Don’t kill that fly!
Look—it’s wringing its hands,
Wringing its feet.

And finally:

          Even with insects—
Some can sing,
Some can’t.

And now, I had better end this review before I excerpt the entire book and rob you, gentle reader, of the pleasure of discovering your own favorites. If you find one, post it in the comments.

Even better, I hope that you’ll now be inspired to not only read these wonderful haiku masters, but to write your own small poems. This month, in honor of the season and National Poetry Month, we invite you to send in your original haiku about the people and places you love in Chatham County. Click here for more information about this event or to submit your work.