Out of Cassiopeia

First published in Woodnotes #5, Spring 1990, page 19. This may have been my first published haiku book review. Read more about Charles B. Dickson.

Out of Cassiopeia by Charles B. Dickson. [Deer Isle, Maine: Skyefield Press, 1990.] 24 pages; paperback. $4.00 postpaid from the author at 3012 Bren Mar Way, Doraville, Georgia 30340.

This 24-page, hand-sewn chapbook, finely printed in a numbered edition of 200 copies, contains 30 haiku and senryu wrapped in a textured black cover and black endsheets. Japanese calligraphy illustrates “haiku and senryu,” “bird wing,” and “dragonfly.”

This book feels comfortable in one’s hand, and is a true pleasure for the mind. Dickson’s haiku move quietly, slowly, yet surely:

creaking waterwheel

a dragonfly

takes a slow ride

after the stillbirth


baby clothes

His senryu also hit the mark:

surly receptionist

a vase of snapdragons

on her desk

In all, many fine haiku round out this small collection. Each poem is focused, sturdy, and intimate. Out of Cassiopeia is one book that shines like a star in an ink-black sky. Easily recommended!

a meteor blazes

out of Cassiopeia

and another