The Haiku Anthology edited by Cor van den Heuvel

Copyright 1974
Checked out 14 times in 33 years
Last checked out 12 years ago

This is an excellent volume to have on the shelves representing haiku written in English. Cor van den Heuvel is considered one of the masters of haiku written in English and his introduction lays out the fundamental problems with with taking a Japanese form and trying to be true to it in a very different language. It’s not just 5-7-5.

The circulation on this is curious. It was steady throughout the 80s and 90s and then dropped off completely. The date may make the book seem a bit dated, yet it remains an excellent overview of haiku in English and has been reprinted. I have to wonder if school libraries now carry it and thus students no longer went looking for more about haiku at the public library.

In any case, keep this volume until it falls apart. Since it’s paperback, consider having it rebound in hardcover. Or purchase the most recent printing to replace it. It’s not essential to have English language haiku represented on the shelves of a library of this size, but it adds depth to the collection, and if you’re going to have only one book on haiku, this is the one to have.


About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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