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Book of the Week – Double Rainbow by Maeve O’Sullivan and Kim Richardson

From the Introduction by Jim Norton: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to welcome the publication of Double Rainbow, and to commend Maeve O’Sullivan and Kim Richardson for the considerable achievement which their joint collection of haiku represents.

Here, in this slightest of poetic forms, one finds humour, keen observation, pathos and refreshment of spirit in abundance.

If all poetry lives the tension between the lyrical and commonplace, haiku is most at home in the latter. Quite ordinary things, seen anew, have about them something mysteriously moving. Great scientists and mystics alike concur: For Master Basho, wondrous enough mud on a melon, the coolness of a wall to nap against. O’Sullivan gives us mortgage down-payment / outside / snails on the wet stone steps, Richardson fuschia bushes / drenched / in bees. Quintessential haiku both, along this spectrum.

Readers familiar only with the dictionary definition of haike may be disappointed that few poems in this collection conform to the supposed 5-7-5 syllable requirement. Suffice to say that sparseness of expression, if the image resonates, is a better measure of haiku spirit. Incompleteness leaves space for the reader to enter these fine haiku and make of them our own. Happy task.”

Double Rainbow was published by Alba Publishing in 2005.

Following are a few selected poems from the book:

stopping the whistle
with my fingers
let the North wind
play An Ghaoth Aneas*
(*The South Wind)
watching the sunset
the pub landlord
pulls down the blinds
suddenly a flute
next door
longing
vapour trails
in the winter sky
lines in my palm
sweeping with his white stick
the man checks his stride
at the museum gate

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library and please share your favorite poem from the book with us.

Do you have a chapbook published in 2018 or earlier that 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 the THF Digital Librarian Kenneth Pearson and are used with permission.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I loved:

    drumming to a slip jig
    the cigarette ash
    moving closer to his lip

    I felt I was in the ‘Irish’ pub, jigging away, not aware of the drummers cigarette ash. Hopefully the music ended before the cigarette!

  2. Great to see this book by two fine ‘haijin’ in the THF library – and almost 20 years old!!

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