hortensia anderson : collected haibun
115 haibun from this master of the poetic form which combines distilled, essentialized prose with haiku. First brought to prominence more than three hundred years ago by the Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō, haibun is a form of poetic expression still in its infancy in the west.
Hortensia Anderson captures the spirit of Japanese haibun with formidable accuracy, and her work effortlessly incorporates the Japanese aesthetics of wabi and sabi, as she delves frankly into her own personal experience.
To Paraphrase Hortensia, This volume is the Plenitude of words well wrought. I have many Post-its peeking out from my copy to remind me to revisit the singular emotions and visions evoked by her gifted artistry and O so sensitive soul. Brava!
“This really is a must-read collection. The haibun are potent and profoundly moving. My thanks and congratulations to the publishers! This is truly an important work.” Denis Garrison. I had been putting off ordering a copy of Hortensia’s book, The Plentitude of Emptiness, until I read Denis’s recommendation and at the same time Lulu had a one-day promotion of free shipping. After the speedy arrival of the book when I could actually begin reading Hortensia’s haibun I had a feeling of regret for all those days I let go by without having the gift of her words in my heart. For only the second time since I have been reading haibun did I find the big word “Yes!” welling up within me as I read. At first I was simply carried away into Hortensia’s world and delighting in the way her mind culled and accepted the information she brought from her memories. The way the prose complimented, enlarged, and resounded against the haiku fascinated me. How did she do it? She makes haibun sound so natural.... More > So easy to do. Enough other authors who strain to be innovative wordsmiths have proved that writing haibun prose is not easy, natural, or successful. Hortensia takes their failures, brushes them with light, and creates something new on each page. I have tried to read Hortensia’s haibun with a critical discerning eye but I cannot. Again and always, the flow of her words and the intense images they allow me to create pull me under and away into a riptide of emotions. Recurrance You haunt my days because you live in my nights. I wonder if death rotted you away to parchment on bone. I knew nothing lasts forever. I didn’t know only nothing lasts forever. buried in a second snowfall – blue crocus See how the most excellent haiku is deepened and enriched by the thoughts and information in the prose? Notice how the prose reads like poetry? Acknowledge the leap of understanding within the ideas? Add that to the haiku and you truly have a new and richer poetry form. There is immense wonder for this woman who endures such pain and bodily frailties in order to stay alive to bring us such gifts. There is thanksgiving for her steel center that raises her above the darkness and terror to a place of light, and joy where she nourishes her ability to bring that to the printed page. The book is truly a global effort. Hortensia lives in New York. Norman Darlington in Ireland and Moira Richards in South Africa edited and produced the book. And readers anywhere in the world can order the book directly from Lulu.com at an extremely reasonable price – far too low for such a treasure. As Jim Kacien writes in the Introduction: “"If haibun didn’t exist, it’s possible that Hortensia Anderson would have had to invent it." I think she did.< Less
I immediately wanted to share Hortensia's exquisitely delicate Haibun. There is wonder in the sadness, pathos in the joy - each a beautifully crafted work of art. Buy the collection and buy one for a dear friend while you are at it! Mary White
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