Grandma’s Chip Bowl

First published in the “Briefly Reviewed” section of Frogpond 39:3, Autumn 2016, page 118.       +

Grandma’s Chip Bowl by David Jacobs (2015, Hub Editions, Spalding, England). 108 pages, 4¾×7 ¾˝, perfectbound. ISBN 078-0-9576460-4-9. £6.50 from the author at 72 St Dunstan’s Road, London M68RA England or email davidjacobs2011@gmail.com.

This is yet another fine homespun production from Hub Editions in England. You’ll find 105 haiku at one per page, plus a sequence of seven haiku at the end. As shown on the book’s cover, the “chip bowl” here is for what Americans would call French fries. Likewise, many other terms in this book show the British setting of these poems: netball, Oxford oarsman, pound shop (dollar store), London marathon, title decider (championship sports match), Thames solitude, upper deck (of a double-decker bus), Welsh anthem, Centre Court (Wimbledon), tube (London subway), Whitehall, surgery (doctor’s office), royal palace, towpath (by canals), dustbin, keeper and striker (soccer positions), holiday (vacation), South Bank and Barnes (parts of London), busker, Heathrow, and underground (subway). Readers will recognize many of these poems from leading haiku journals. Rich images and approachable moments abound—a pleasure to read. “graves in the grass / the mower’s coat / left hanging”