September 27th, 2006

Egrets Reading

The Haiku Apprentice

I just received the most wonderful haiku book in the mail - The Haiku Apprentice by Abigail Friedman. Friedman is an American diplomat, now the Consul General in Quebec City, who was invited to a haiku group during her previous assignment in Toyko. Although Friedman had read Japanese haiku to practice her Japanese language skills and had developed an appreciation for Bashō, Buson, Issa, Shiki, etc., she had never considered herself particularly poetic.

Somewhere along the way to learning more about the Japanese culture, she discovered something about herself - that she could write poetry!

The Haiku Apprentice is a story of her journey and how learning to write haiku has impacted her life. It can be read on different levels. For those who simply enjoy a good story, her memoir of living in Japan is engaging. For those who want to learn more about writing haiku, the story of her metamorphosis into a poet illustrates the technique of writing haiku better than most "how to write haiku" books.

I read half of the book on my first sitting and highly recommend this one!

Friedman also maintains a bilingual English/French blog The Stone Lantern about her life as a haiku poet. One of her haiku was at tinywords.com recently.