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Book of the Week: When Almost Nothing Happens: Haiku With Very Few Verbs



In 1997, Jerry Ball published a chapbook of experimental haiku without, or almost without, verbs. It is a strategy that Basho used in some of his haiku, and one that Ball shows is just as viable in English haiku today. I suggest you read Jerry’s introduction, and his efforts at this type of haiku, then try it for yourself in the comment space below our Book of the Week, When Almost Nothing Happens: Haiku With Very Few Verbs. As Jerry writes, “I am not advocating haiku without verbs as a way of life, but as something to savor as one sniffs the aroma of the still life or the bouquet of a portrait.”


the last loaf of bread
a shelf in a bakery
autumn twilight



winter evening
sound of a silver bracelet
on a marble floor



summer twilight
an old woman in a chair
on a balcony


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. Interesting. I particularly like “a very big dog”, “wild strawberries” and “summer twilight” (page 13).

    One of mine

    cancer diagnosis
    the weight
    of each snowflake

    —Corine Timmer

    Winning entry in the international section of the 22th Mainichi Haiku Contest, 2019

    1. An interesting exercise, but a terrible read. Too many prepositions, very little cutting.

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