Haiku: Poetry ancient and modern


“A book on haiku? You bought a book on haiku?” I asked AS, my colleague.

AS, who had just ripped open the packaging and was drooling over the book in question, looked up and answered, “Yes. Why? You don’t like haiku or what?”

“No. I don’t like haiku,” I said. And added for good measure, ” At all.”

“Why?” AS queried.”Haiku is so brilliant.”

“Maybe. It’s also too abstract for me,” I said.

“Abstract? Of course it is. It is minimally abstract and therein lies its beauty,” AS retorted.

“I don’t have a problem with minimal. Or abstract, ” I replied a tad defensively. “It’s just that the whole haiku thing is so vague.”

“I just think you’ve read the wrong type of haiku, Sudha. Here, read this. Then tell me you don’t like haiku.” Saying this, AS passed the haiku book to me.

And that’s how, dear readers, I ended up with Haiku: Poetry Ancient and Modern, an anthology edited and compiled by Jackie Hardy (2008, MQ Publications, 256 pages, Rs.325/-). Ended up holding it, opening it, flipping through it and finally reading it.

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