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Book of the Week: Distant Thunder


S. L. Poulter was an early advocate of formal variety within the traditional haiku genre. He essayed the rarest of haiku formats—the occasional two-liner—along with four-liners, and the cantilevered middle line may be his invention. This chapbook was a product of Peacock Press in 1974.

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

Do you have a chapbook published 2009 or earlier you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details.

Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by Jim Kacian, following a concept first explored by Tom Clausen, and are used with permission.

in a shadow a bowed head . . .
a snake its length slowly from that mist
from monarch to leaf the way the rain slides off the butterfly's wing
cracking out of the wind the sound of leaves
how the sun reddens half in the water
on his upturned face a bounce of light through the sweat
going to take all day the way that grasshopper eats

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. A very apt selection for Christmas Day. Poulter’s online history includes an article from the Milwaukee Journal September 28, 1973 which details Poulter’s harsh upbringing, a crime resulting in a woman’s death for which he was sentenced, and his discovery of poetry during his incarceration. The article has a selection of his poems including one titled, “Wisconsin State Prison, 1971” which includes these lines, my verse/ neither relieves / nor passes time … These haiku from Distant Thunder underscore the redemptive power of poetry.

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