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Book of the Week: Wind in the Trees

elliott_wind

David Elliott’s work has a consistently quiet, confidential, grounded feel to it, from his earliest, as in this collection from AHA Press in 1992, to the present day.

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

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



Just two notes happy with them phoebe on a budding branch
April sun weathered plank drying at the pond's edge
One last push life thrust into this slippery world
Moment-of-birth face wrinkled old man come back again
Sunlight through pines one spiderweb filament floats across the trail
Between two mountains the wings of a gliding hawk balancing sunlight
Wind at the summit— crumbling stone and blue lichen hanging on
A wedge of geese opens the sky
Honking overhead— three geese trying to catch up
Some year they won't find me here... returning geese
No one answers... between the rings faint laughter
Getting another blanket mothballs in moonlight
Below zero but this week the sun shines right on the kitchen table
All these weeks my bootprints frozen in mud
Hard to be some— one in all this snow falling
Sanding the old floor hitting a pocket of pitch— smell of pine
Peeling an orange tiny puffs of juice catch the light
Wind in the trees... nothing left unsaid
In the sunken rowboat passing clouds
A steady wind blows cloud shadows up the mountain and off the cliff
The gong fades swallows flying out from the eaves
So many boulders in the stream all of the water finding its way

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. My favorite of the haiku selections above would have to be ” Wind at the summit—”.
    This Elliott poem has a painterly touch & good sounds.

  2. I agree with Chris, and also wonder why such incredibly short verses should seem wordy within the poetry world, haiku in particular?

    I enjoy every well-written style of haiku from 17-English-language syllable approaches to those with less than six words. A well-written poem is a well-written poem and so is haiku.

    It’s been a great journey to see so many haiku from the old century amongst the amazing work that is being produced in the last few years.

    Alan, With Words

    re:

    Chris Patchel July 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm
    “These poems are wordier than what is in vogue, or what I usually favor, but in his hands their length gives them some advantages I envy.”

  3. These poems are wordier than what is in vogue, or what I usually favor, but in his hands their length gives them some advantages I envy.

  4. Good stuff. I once owned a copy of this book. It went missing a good many years ago yet my favorite poems in it I still know by heart.

  5. Adding my “wonderful” and “beautiful” to the comments about David Elliott’s book with AHA Press.

    His haiku:

    Below zero
    but this week the sun shines
    right on the kitchen table

    is how I feel here every January. Where I live in Wisconsin, summer has just arrived, and the days feel a little shorter already. How wonderful to capture the light for a moment and watch it change . . . timeless and new every year. Thank you.

  6. Pure excellence!

    Thank all of you.

    sincerely,

    Gene

    A haiku is like when you wake up in the middle of a
    dream and within that spit second an entire lifetime
    passes by.

  7. What a truly beautiful collection. I feel as though I just came home from a retreat. Many thanks to David for granting permission for us to share his vision of the world — and to Tom for his part in that gift. –Billie

  8. I agree with my good friend in England 🙂 They are indeed small gems to enjoy over and over.

  9. Elliott-san’s right on the edge of Whitman’s merge in the snow haiku…so many true seeing haiku.

    -Patrick

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