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Book of the Week: A Bowl of Sloes


David Cobb is the doyen of British haiku, and co-founder of the British Haiku Society. This work finds him in typical top form, from Snapshot Press in 2000.

Snapshot Press declines to make this book available to The Haiku Foundation Digital Library at this time.

All haiku in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by Tom Clausen, and are used with permission.

incoming tide— the surf-watcher’s shadow starts to float
equinox: above closed celandines the stars come out
stuffing the guy— drafts of poems long ago in print
in the bedroom mirror the old slow bowler bowls at himself
treading on wormcasts my hero’s grave
sciatica— I listen to the lark flat out
Culloden and back to town for tea
another tide— the beached whale’s jawbone deeper in the sand

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Thank you David, my favorite haibunist [if that is a word] of all time.


  2. treading
    on wormcasts
    my hero’s grave

    …fits sublimely in the tradition while making it new…I’m in such awe of poets like Cobb-san who can work this magic.


  3. Thank you, David, for contributing this chapbook to The Haiku Foundation Digital Library. Every one of your haiku is a great pleasure to read.

    Garry Eaton

  4. ps, I love the wryness of this one:

    at his funeral
    his fellow councillors
    sing in unison

    I often see the ironically raised eyebrow in David Cobb’s ku.

    – Lorin

  5. *deeper in the sane *

    um, Tom.. . typo alert. I think the final letter in the final word of the final ku, above, should be d , not e.

    Enjoyed reading through David Cobb’s haiku here . It’s an excellent chapbook.

    – Lorin

  6. Yes, it’s a lovely chapbook. The title, as well as referring to the fruit, is a pun alluding to cricket – as implied by the ‘old slow bowler’ senryu above. David has done so much to further haiku in England and the British Isles as a whole, and, crucially, to establish and extend the concept of native season-words. As the ‘sciatica’ poem shows, David’s always had a sparkle in his eye too.

  7. I enjoyed “meeting” David Cobb when I viewed his video in THF Lectures – and enjoyed his book. I looked up “sloe,” and now see the book cover. Wonderful.

    Thanks, Ellen

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