JANICE BOSTOK: AMONGST THE GRAFFITI
324/50 Macquarie St,
ISBN 1 876682 46 9
JANICE BOSTOK: SONGS ONCE SUNG
ISBN 1 876682 67 1
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|JANICE BOSTOK: AMONGST THE GRAFFITI|
This collection of Haiku carries introductions by William J. Higginson and Alan Summers. Such high-powered commendation is justified.
On the first page of haiku we find
sleeping horse angled bones lean into sunset the stillborn's photo — in my day they refused to let me see in a particular place in the house i can sense my dead fatherThere are a lot of excellent single-line haiku as well as conventional tercets and some are visually arranged to enhance the impact of individual pieces. Haiga, ranging from simple brush strokes to more elaborate images are dotted about the pages but not in an intrusive way. Opposite an image of what might be four identical dolphins, we find
no money for the busker i try not to listenIn a postscript the author tells the story of her haiku journey — a fascinating insight into how she became acquainted with the genre — and was welcomed back into the world of haiku after abandoning it for a decade.
There must by six hundred or more haiku in this book — I haven't counted them — so you need to keep picking it up and flick though, reading a few at a time. I found that many resonated and thus it is a collection that will reward the reader with treasure-trove for years.
|reviewer: Gerald England.|
|JANICE BOSTOCK: SONGS ONCE SUNG|
These are Collected Tanka Poems 1972-2003. Spanning thirty years it is an uneven collection. Many of the poems read like extended haiku rather than tanka:
in old age i'm becoming childlike once more unable to stay within the lines when colouring in memoriesand this is particularly evident in the collection of impressions of Fiji and some of the other pieces based on travel or just watching the news on TV.
But there are some fine real tanka pieces too:
my eyes beg for the touch of your hand which remains idly stroking the lightly tanned skin of your own beautiful body we walk your arm about my shoulders each step our hip bones needing to pass by each other reminds me that we aren't joined easter day when you departed this world a deep loneliness odours my distant childhood with honest farmer's sweatIn an AFTERWORD, the author admits that her first notions about tanka were flawed and that they are
much more than a haiku with emotionEven so, this is a remarkable collection of poems, with lots to like and some touching humour:
taking down a phone message in darkness surprised to find it legible in daylight at the bird gardens a raised sulphur crest: 'hello darling' a voice from home mimics her European accent
|reviewer: Mandy Smith.|