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Book of the Week: Oblici Praznine (The Shapes of Emptiness): Haiku in Croatian by Robert Bebek

James W. Hackett writes in the Preface – “Readers of Mr. Bebek’s subtle haiku will encounter an awesome sensibility: most notable in the poet’s appreciation of nuance, and in his close identification with nature – an empathy all too rare in any generation of haiku poets. How revealing of the soul is a poet’s choice and range of subjects. Here, creatures as wonderfully diverse as dogs, cows, tortoises, birds, cats, spiders, butterflies, grasshoppers, and slugs are treated with uncommon sensitivity.”

Another book by Robert in the digital library is Lampa u Zoru (Lamp at Dawn) and be sure to to check out Haikupedia’s excellent article Haiku in Croatia.

i na korovu
i na latici ruze,
kapljice rose

on the weeds, too
as well as on rose petals,
morning dewdrops

sred vreve grada
klupko vrabaca kljuca
okrajak kruha

amidst city clamor
a crust of yesterday’s bread
gathers the sparrows

jesenska vecer
glas nepoznate ptice
ponire u maglu

autumn evening
listening to an unknown bird
somewhere in the fog

natrag iz polja
magare prdi u ritmu
svojih koraka

back from the field
donkey farts in the rhythm
of his own steps

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 2016 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 THF Digital Librarian Dan Campbell and are used with permission.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Elevated, sublime writing…I’m very grateful for having been given the opportunity to read this book.

  2. Thanks Dan. A good read. Plenty to ruminate on… including the well-fed donkey.

    I also liked:

    that withered leaf,
    the way it stuck to my sole
    for a few steps

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