This book is magical! A delight, like a bright blue sky after a day of rain. After a brief but essential introduction to the poetic form of haiku, A.K. Finch gives us 56 gemstones in letters, and 15 in pictorial form.
The book is structured into two sections.
The first section comprises 22 haiku poems written by A.K. Finch. Scattered among them are photographs and drawings. The poems are divided into four themes: Beach Theme, Nature Theme, Coffee Theme, and Inspiration Theme. The haiku poems are lovely, each a melodic nugget of clarity, joy, or humor. I enjoy her wordplay! My favorites are “Ocean”, “Lily Pads”, and “Roasted”. “Roasted” made me laugh at the last line:
From light roast to dark
I like very strong coffee
Stronger the better.
See A.K. Finch: Fading Blue – Book of Haiku, p. 44. The photographs and drawings–many from the author herself, her husband, and her daughter–are beautiful. They enhance the meaning of the poems, giving another layer of color, tone, and emotion.
The second section presents 34 haiku poems written by the author’s students. In an introduction to the section, Finch explains the circumstances under which the poems were written. Basically, she had her students write a haiku a day for 30 days. These represent the best of those written. It is a challenging and ingenious experiment. The haikus poems are delightful and fun. They reveal Finch’s generosity to her students and her brilliance as a teacher.
The book’s two sections compliment each other, similar to the Renga form of poetry Finch discusses in the main introduction. In creating this marvelous book of her own poetry, imagery, and her students’ poetry, she has created a true collaboration. Finch has clearly found the “hidden glimmering there”! See Id., p. 3.
For more information on Fading Blue – Book of Haiku, and on A.K. Finch, the author, please see www.akfinch.com.