Stopping at Nothing: Introduction to Fifty-Seven Damn Good Haiku

This wee little introduction was published in Fifty-Seven Damn Good Haiku by a Bunch of Our Friends, Michael Dylan Welch and Alan Summers, editors (Sammamish, Washington, Press Here, 2010, page 7). The book’s front cover features a charming colour image of a particular vegetable. As James Joyce once said, “I beg your parsnips.”

“Nobody writes poems about parsnips.” —Anna Pavord, The Independent 

It’s been said that the world has three types of people—those who can count, and those who can’t. Poets who have never written a single parsnip poem no doubt fall into the latter bucket, for we all know that real haiku poets don’t count. They may stop at crosswalks for small children and the occasional crimson leaf, but otherwise such poets stop at nothing in pursuit of a damn good haiku. Perhaps, now and then, they might catch one, but it won’t have any parsnips in it. Or maybe, to be a damn good haiku . . . well, maybe it should.


Michael Dylan Welch