"AABYE presents a kaleidoscope of modern poetry, catholic in its content, which
ranges from a standard form of sonnet in the English style to more complex
poems in a more modern idiom. The sonnet "Two Dawns" by Eileen Winch had
immediate appeal for me. but I also found that other more complex poems amply
repaid re-reading. A few however seemed rather slight and could be read as
prose rather than poetry.
There was also a liberal sprinkling of haiku and senryu in both the traditional
and modern form, including some written by well-known names. Donna Farley's
"The Sound Of Two Realities Diverging" was an interesting reflection on Basho's
famous Frog haiku. This fragment gives the flavour:
Here, though, I make my quantum leap;
a plunge into the water, then a landing upon
his page, a metamorphosis into tadpoles
waving inky tails like laughter.
There was also a 4 page haibun (mixture of prose and haiku) by David Cobb -
President of The British Haiku Society, describing a visit to the operating theatre.
Rich in observation it contained some amusing touches, in spite of the occasion,
not hearing the end
of my laughter.
There was a touching poem by Kenneth C. Steven called 'Visiting Hour" which
showed me a different side to this widely published poet.
I go gratefully, glad to reach
The wide blue skies of the world outside,
Clutching at the wild, mad hope that you will leave
The other self that haunts you here behind -
Its terrible, leprous hide -
Break into the beautiful, smooth skin of childhood
And come back home.
Previously I have admired his richly descriptive poems centred mainly on the
The American poet Don Ammons, well known for his haiku, who lives in West
Jutland in Denmark has contributed a poem "And His Death Was Death",
describing a voluntary exile, I quote a few lines:
But all the time he was keeping his
English dose. laying it under his hands,
caressing, lifting it to his tongue,
allowing it to melt like sugar ...
Although not perhaps a magazine for the strict traditionalist. AABYE provides
a very good read for those looking for innovation, excitement and adventure in
their poetry reading. A short excerpt from the poem "Crescendo" by the American
poet Lucien Stryk, editor of the acclaimed Penguin Book of Zen Poetry, perhaps
best illustrates the essence of this interesting magazine.
Lightening Cinder-flash zips
down the cobnut tree. Drawn
like a boatman in a riptide
squall, tipsied by wind, rain,
I watch leaves shimmy to
the oldest music in the world,
fierce autumn colours washed out
in a blink...