Sunday, June 29, 2008

Adelaide B. Shaw - Three Questions

Adelaide B. Shaw is our Haiku - Three Questions guest this week. Adelaide's debut collection of haiku entitled An Unknown Road is available for purchase online at Modern English Tanka Press,, and from major booksellers.

While preparing this week's post, I was surprised and pleased to Google a preview of An Unknown Road at The cover is very appealing; the haiku within the preview are evocative and of the highest quality. This book of poems comes highly recommended to me by several readers of this blog. I will definitely add this book to my collection.

1. Why do you write haiku?

Haiku provide me with an outlet for preserving small, pleasurable moments. It’s a way to express an instant awareness of an image, a sound, a fleeting experience of the senses. I was drawn to haiku because, with its brevity, it is the ideal poetic form to convey these brief moments. In rereading haiku written months before or even years before, I find that they bring back memories which otherwise would probably have been forgotten.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I also write tanka and haibun. On occasion I have collaborated with others to write renku and rengay.

3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credit).

I have chosen three haiku that bring back memories in a way that a prose narrative describing the incident would not provide. They revive the instant shock of an earthquake, the sadness I felt seeing my father asleep in our backyard, and the strangeness of our first Christmas living in rural Switzerland far away from Los Angeles.

the pre-dawn quake
jolts us out of bed
to view the sunrise

Haiku Highlights, vol.8, No.3, 1971

wind-tossed leaves–
the withered old man
asleep on a bench

Mayfly, #36, winter 2003

Christmas far from home–
the odor of hay and manure
from an open barn

The Heron’s Nest, Vol. VII, No. 1, March 2005
Editors’ Choice

Next week, Michael Dylan Welch responds to Haiku - Three Questions.

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