Haiku Chiaroscuro

First published in the “Briefly Reviewed” section of Frogpond 39:3, Autumn 2016, pages 124–125.

Haiku Chiaroscuro by David Cobb (2015, Equinox Press, Braintree, England). 44 pages, 6¾ ×8¼˝, perfectbound, 978-0-9566833-2-8. £9.95 from the author.

This book by one of England’s leading and stalwart practitioners of haiku mixes longer poetry, flash fiction, haibun, and haiku in ways that perhaps more haiku poets might emulate to help integrate haiku into mainstream poetry. Some of the longer poems here are put into service in place of the prose in haibun, and are thus followed by a haiku at right angles to the poem. One tanka and one haiga also add variety to this collection that explores, according to its subtitle, “lighter and darker sides of haiku poetry and prose.” “earthquake tremor / the municipal gardener / draws back his hoe”