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A Haiku Menagerie: Living Creatures in Poems and Prints

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A furry, feathery, and scaly menagerie of creatures large and small captured in over forty-eight paintings and one hundered twenty haiku--with the delicacy, charm, and wisdom of the best of Japanese literature and art.


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A furry, feathery, and scaly menagerie of creatures large and small captured in over forty-eight paintings and one hundered twenty haiku--with the delicacy, charm, and wisdom of the best of Japanese literature and art.

30 review for A Haiku Menagerie: Living Creatures in Poems and Prints

  1. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    Uneven translations, but the artwork is the reason to ‘read’ this. Dozens of beautiful reproductions in many styles of color and black and white images of animals. The b&w ink washes are just as stunning as the color woodblock prints. Usually detestable, The crow, this morning, in the snow— Issa At daybreak the whitefish whitens just a little Bashō

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessaka

    What a great find at a yard sale. The book is in perfect condition and its wood block prints are just beautiful. It is a book to protect. I like how the author gives an introduction into writing Haiku and then a history on woodcutting. The poems are by various artists, many of whom I had ever heard of before, and the poems have woodcut photos behind them. The end of the book has a list of the artists and a short biography of each, as well as a list of the poets and their short biographies. I have What a great find at a yard sale. The book is in perfect condition and its wood block prints are just beautiful. It is a book to protect. I like how the author gives an introduction into writing Haiku and then a history on woodcutting. The poems are by various artists, many of whom I had ever heard of before, and the poems have woodcut photos behind them. The end of the book has a list of the artists and a short biography of each, as well as a list of the poets and their short biographies. I have found that in order to write haiku you must first read many of the poems, and then you sit in nature and watch, or even walk into a photograph of nature, and then a poem arises within your mind and heart. I find that even when I read a poem, my own poem comes to me. This can happen even when watching TV. For example, I saw a documentary on the Mayflower, and when some settlers had arrived, they had caused disease among the Indians, which had killed them all off. The documentary said that villages up and down the coast had no one to bury the Indians, so their bones were all that were left. While I still know very little about haiku, I wrote a poem: Passing by a village indian bones the earth replenishes Hatta Koshu (one of the artists in the book.) Here is one from a poet in this book: Trampling on clouds, inhaling the mist, the skylark soars ~~Shiki Then in the back of the book you will find this person's biography: (1867-1901) Despite the brevity of his life, Shiki became the most influential haiku poet and theorist of the last century. He first studied Chinese literature and calligraphy, then after a hemorrhage of the lungs, turned to politics, philosophy, and aesthetics. Finally he took up haiku, advocating a return to the poetic ideals of Buson. Shiki's own poems show his keen observation of nature and display great sensitivity." Two more poems: His voice growing hoarse, the monkey's teeth are whitened by the moon over the peak ~~Kikaku Wolves are keening in harmony-- this snowy evening ~~Joso

  3. 4 out of 5

    Thomasin Propson

    Lovely. Simply lovely. There's a detailed intro about the history of haiku as well as the history of wood prints (the illustrations/art), and then the rest of the book is filled with charming animal poems and wonderful pictures. I read it aloud to my daughter (age 2) and she enjoyed it nearly as much as I. One of my favorite poems: The cuckoo with a single call has established summer ~Ryota (Don't I long for a bit of summer, here in Wisconsin in February!) Lovely. Simply lovely. There's a detailed intro about the history of haiku as well as the history of wood prints (the illustrations/art), and then the rest of the book is filled with charming animal poems and wonderful pictures. I read it aloud to my daughter (age 2) and she enjoyed it nearly as much as I. One of my favorite poems: The cuckoo with a single call has established summer ~Ryota (Don't I long for a bit of summer, here in Wisconsin in February!)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I love haiku. I like to teach them and write them and read them. This sweet volume was given to me by my friend Yvonne as she prepared to move. It has wonderful Japanese woodblock art of animals beside the poems. The haiku are about animals and they are divided into swimmers, walkers,crawlers and fliers. So there are poems about warblers,snails and trout. I like this book. It is great for a quick shot of beauty in a busy day. I will keep it by my side!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Turner

    This is a beautiful collection of traditional haiku written by Japenese masters and accompanied by woodblock prints. It gives a brief history of haiku and waka (5-7-5-7-7) in Japanese culture. Each poem is accompanied by the original in Japanese. At the back of the book there is a short biography of each poet and artist.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Gage

    This is a beautiful book of haiku with some gorgeous prints. My only issue with it was that the translations were overly wordy and a bit clunky at times. Still, the pairing of haiku and art works well.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Doris Pearson

    This is a beautiful book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ben Gaa

    Another fine book in this series. A must for any haiku collection and perfect for lovers of animals and Japanese woodblock art. I especially like seeing the poems in both English and Japanese.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Todd

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Spence Sr

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shauna Thompson

  12. 5 out of 5

    Doris

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  14. 4 out of 5

    Horst Finkbeiner

  15. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Inks

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paulius

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  18. 4 out of 5

    Thoreau

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eva

  20. 4 out of 5

    Grant

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alan Summers

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alberteinsteinmaloney

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alberto Loyd

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carolyngoodenough

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lee (of Shalott)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tetcho

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vaahini

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Raven

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