Monday, February 17, 2014


I would always rather support and boost a work of poetry — lord knows it's tough enough out there between the posers and the professionals — and I'm always on the outlook for that riveting collection of haiku poems in English — but this isn't it, although it takes a fair shot at it. Half the poems are deadwood, so be warned, and the other half are good lumber. Deeply grained. Many of the poets in the anthology who should have had multiple poems (while the editors themselves should have had less of their poems) unfortunately didn't happen. There are strong showings by Cid Corman, Gary Hotham, John Martone, Penny Harter, Vincent Tripi, Peter Yovu . . . and poets that normally kill me on the spot: Steve Sanfield, John Brandi, Thomas C. Clark, John Phillips, Ronald Baatz, have only one poem each.  It hurts to watch. Joseph Massey may have the best poem in the whole book. And who is missing will make you shudder and hear an echo.

Harvard contacted here a year ago to receive permission to release this outstanding reading by Cid in 1961. I was all ears. "By all means." I asked someone there to make contact when the site would be available and this must have slipped someone's mind, but then a poet friend knew best and sent the link. It's the wonderful patchwork quilting of the poetry trade.

On this recording Cid speaks his own early poems, as well as breathes life into Louis Zukofsky —
 it's not to be missed.

Haiku in English
edited by Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, Allan Burns
Norton 2013


Conrad DiDiodato said...


I enjoyed every poem, always the better for Cid reading it himself.

Yes, between 'posers' and the 'professionals' there are a few good ones out there worth keeping.

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...


On a private note, many thanks for the link.

As for the posers and professionals — and some are excellent until they resort to their routine — they're minor compared to one gem stone poem, and there are some hidden away in this anthology. Get out your mining hardhat, pick and shovel, while we await the true collection one day that will get this job done.

all's well, B.

Anonymous said...

With you, on this, Bob. How I love your sentence here:
". . . some are excellent until they resort to their routine — they're minor compared to one gem stone poem. . . ." One gem stone poem.

(and yes, it did break my heart to see the absence of one poem I'd written)

This future anthology, begs the question: Longhouse?



Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Hello Donna!

we've been thinking of you both all winter and how you have been faring. We have big fat bluejays this morning gorging at the meat (seed) Susan snowshoes out to peg into the lilac tree near one of the house windows buried in snow. It can be 10 above in Brattleboro at 10 miles distance and all the while, deep in this river valley pinched down on the map, 10 below.
A good time to read haiku, write it, or one day prepare all the short poem wonders Longhouse has published over 42 years. You may have something there. However, your hair would turn white if you knew just what its costs to pull some of these poems together, or out of the craw of the miserly machine. We'll see. It's now being predicted these long and deep cold and snowy ranged winters are our future, so there will be things to do, fires to sit and waddle by, gems to hand polish.

stay warm, Bob