withoutHaiku—One Breath

4stars

By Leigh Herrick
Amazon Digital Services, Inc., $2.99, 99 pages

Leigh Herrick’s Without, Haiku is full of brief, lovely poems. The writing is evocative and, due to the nature of haiku, stark. As a collection of poems, it is actually quite glorious. Broken down into three seasons — spring to autumn — each conveying a sense of time and place, and many imparting an emotional depth that requires skill and dedication, Without, Haiku has the potential to be a really great poetry book, but it just isn’t quite there.

“Without conscience—
Gypsophila blossoms—
Haiku—one breath.”

The problem does not lie in any way with the writing, but with the formatting. Haikus are short. One takes up only a few lines on a page, and the formatting of this eBook does nothing for the brevity of the form. This may seem a shallow criticism, but the lack of aesthetic appeal — and the starkness of the white screen with only a handful of words — takes away from the experience. Without, Haiku would be best as a small print book and the formatting of the eBook could be altered to be more reader-friendly and appealing.

Aside from that, Herrick has done a wonderful job integrating her interest in Zen haiku into a wonderfully readable and lovely book of haikus.

Reviewed by Ashley McCall

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