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Book of the Week:The Plenitude of Emptiness



No need to say much about this Book of the Week, by the late, lamented Hortensia Anderson. Her The Plenitude of Emptiness, one of the most honoured books of haibun so far published, set a standard for the many to aspire to.

“If haibun didn’t exist, it’s possible that Hortensia Anderson would have had to invent it” —Jim Kacian, from his Introduction


The Sickroom Window

Another night of rain passes into a day of stiffened joints. I force myself to get up to open the window. As I do, the world, having been held back by the closed glass, pours in. I let myself lie down again. Tightness loosens into drowsiness as a trace of sweetness carried on a breeze reaches me.

gnarled peach tree –
frothy blossoms
cling to the clouds


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. Thanks for sharing this book! After reading just a few, had to order a copy.

  2. This is one of my favorite books of ALL TIME! She is so missed. Her work has a unique blend for personal revelation and direct connection to the reader. I always felt like I was ‘there’ with her as she was writing. Haibun is deceptively simple. It seems that you can add so much to the haiku, but in this collection, you see that it is the reverse. Hortensia’s poems never fail to illuminate the prose. Thank you so much for keeping her work in the light.

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