Ten years in the making, this is the most significant volume of haiku theory and criticism to emerge in English since R. H. Blyth's acclaimed 4-volume Haiku. Gilbert has done nothing less than create an entirely new vocabulary for the haiku world to employ in discussing how our poems work, and he has given descriptive categories and explanations for the many interesting kinds of poems that fall outside the juxtaposition/shasei realm. Additionally, Gilbert's exploration of contemporary Japanese (gendai) haiku offers a perfect foil against which our western tradition might be considered. The result is a challenging and thoughtful critique of what matters in haiku, and why, something every practitioner of haiku certainly has and will continue to consider. Awarded a 2008 Merit Book Award Special Prize for Best Book of Haiku Theory by the Haiku Society of America.
"In Poems of Consciousness, Richard Gilbert investigates Japanese haiku in the flesh. He not only reports on what he has gleaned from books about haiku, but includes interviews with and writings by living Japanese haiku masters. Here you will meet some of today's most widely respected poets. Kiyoko Uda has been at the forefront of haiku's growing popularity among younger poets for the past several decades. She recently became president of the Modern Haiku Association--the most avant-garde of Japan's major haiku organizations. Hasegawa Kai leads the contemporary reexamination of all our assumptions about the haiku of the past and points the way ahead for this new century. These and others provide striking poems--in Gilbert's insightful translations--that will, along with his own provocative essays, make anyone familiar with the haiku genre rethink their understanding of this brand new poetry."
--William J. Higginson, author
The Haiku Handbook, The Haiku Seasons, Haiku World.
Size: 5.75" x 8.5"
Binding: perfect softbound