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Book of the Week: Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness

 

 

Besides writing several volumes of his own haiku, Robert Epstein has edited several collections of themed haiku, and is currently working on another, a selection of haiku on aging. Today’s Book of the week is, I think, his most interesting editorial work so far: Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness, published by Denis Garrison’s Modern English Tanka Press in 2011. In his 20 page introduction, Epstein writes knowledgeably about death haiku, their history, traditions, eminent practitioners, and the various possibilities for the survival of this genre in the world of modern haiku. There is as well, of course, a discriminating selection of haiku, haiga, and tanka poems by many English language poets on the theme of death . Enjoy!

 

death haiku
but what if I die
sudd

-Ernest Berry

the trail so long
my flashlight
dimming

-Charles B. Dickson

to see the Void vast infinite
look out the window
into the blue sky

-Alan Ginsberg

 

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

Do you have a chapbook published 2010 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 THF Digital Librarian Garry Eaton, and are used with permission

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I’ve read through the poems. I’ve read through Robert Epstein’s thoughtful preface. Basically, I feel awed and humbled and happy and grateful. Could there possibly be a more appropriate title for the collection than Basho’s “dreams wander on”?
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    I don’t think so. 🙂 A deep bow to Robert Epstein for this collection.
    .
    While I’m at it, a deep bow also to William Shakespeare (the English playwright) and, closer to our time, to filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, whose dreams, along with Basho’s, do indeed wander on, like theirs, for our contemplation and perhaps our enlightenment.
    .
    – Lorin
    .

  2. If each of these books finds one or two new readers, it will be worth it. So if you read the book and enjoy it, a shout out something like the above will be much appreciated.
    Thanks Mike!

    Garry

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