Thursday, November 8, 2018

H is for Haiku...R is for Review

Hello Poetry Friday,

Isn't it nice to be able to say that Friday has arrived? I know it felt like a long, hard week by the time we all went to bed on Tuesday...wondering how we'd make it to here and now. But, we did it! It's Friday (the eve of as I type this).

These past couple of weeks, I've really needed some unwind time, you know? I have needed to come home from work and sit quietly for a few minutes. Any day now, I'm going to get that time. Ha!

For now, I enjoy Poetry Friday on my phone wherever I am in my day. Please stop over to Michelle H. Barnes' Today's Little Ditty for an amazing poetry, poem experience.

Another thing I'm really trying to do these days is to be present, in the not think about the future as often as I'm used to doing. You know what helps me do that? Haiku.

This past week, I spent time in, H is for Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A - Z, by Sydell Rosenberg (Penny Candy Books 2018).

It's really tough to decide which is most important to lead a review with...the haiku itself, or, the story of how Amy Losak lovingly took her mother's haiku and crafted them into a picture book.

I literally flipped a coin to decide.

heads says, start with Syd
haiku reader and writer
city lovin' kid

~Linda Mitchell

That's the thing....each of the moments described by the beautiful, mindful haiku of Syd Rosenberg are from city life. Isn't this what we need today? 

Even if I live outside the city, the busy-ness of work and kids and house work, yard work, community's all so much. There's a city in my schedule! But, within the city, Syd finds those moments. Those beautiful stop here and rest moments captured in her haiku. Reading H is for Haiku is to enjoy twenty-six moments of rest....reading the words, feeling the experience of them and matching them to the beautiful illustrations.

Even if Syd aimed to write haiku for young people and this book is designed for young readers...I am a better person for reading it to at the ripe old age of #old-enough-to-not-want-to-tell.

Perhaps my favorite moment in H is for Haiku...illustrations by the incredibly talented Sawson Chalabi

It's impossible not to fall in love with how H is for Haiku came into being. Syd passed away. Amy, her daughter, spent time reading her mother's work, organizing it and arranging it into a lovely picture book. See more about that here. The A-Z format works well. But, alphabet letters don't over-power the poetry. 

H is for Haiku is a memorial and labor of love between mother and daughter. As I read and reflected on the picture book this week I thought a lot about my own mother and the art she left for me to remember her by. My mother's art was in clothing design and tailoring. I don't forsee myself creating a work in her memory in the same way that Ms. Losak has. But, I get it. And, I feel like both Syd and Amy are friends of a sort in that they get it too.

mom's birthday is soon
november fifteenth -- next week
candles in my heart

Mom and me....a long time ago


  1. It's a beautiful connection you've made with Amy and with "H is For Haiku", Linda. I love the picture of you and your mom. I reviewed the book this year, have it and feel that Syd, through Amy, has given us a gift of new looking at the world, and I do love Sawson Chalabi's illustrations, too. Thanks for a sweet post.

  2. Lovely post Linda–I do want to check out this book, I'm a huge fan of haiku and am writing them constantly. Love how you decided to write your post with a flip of a coin. I also really enjoyed hearing the connection you made between you and your mom–you both enjoyed using your hands to create–wonderful pic too, thanks for all!

  3. This is a lovely post, Linda. I love how you lean into poetry to find restful spaces. Who can resist an invitation to enjoy "26 moments of rest"? I also like how you explored the relationships between creative mothers and daughters. The picture is a heart warmer-- as are those candles in your heart.

  4. What a lovely review, Linda - I love that you have intertwined your own week and memories with your reflections on the book. And now I wan to reed the whole book, too.

  5. I love how you connected to this book through your own experiences. Such a special story of a daughter committed to the legacy of her mother. Did you and Catherine plan this coincidence of reviewing this book on the same day? I hope I can find a copy at NCTE next week.

    1. Catherine reviewed too? Oh, my goodness no! LOL. That's very serendipitous!

  6. Wow Linda, you really know how to write a great review! Having read and reviewed H is for Haiku myself, I already know what a wonderful book it is, but you've managed to give it fresh new life. I love how you've incorporated your personal recollections and embellished it with your own haiku— the mom's birthday haiku especially touched me. Love to you...

  7. A wonderful review of a wonderful book. The mother-daughter story is touching and inspiring. Love the pic of you and your mom!

  8. Linda, I love that pic of you and your mom. And yes to the power of haiku! xo

  9. Thank you, Linda et al. I’m so grateful — overwhelmed. As I like to say, I hope everyone has a haiku autumn, filled with bits of magic!

  10. I'm so happy for Amy and her mom...this book has garnered so much attention, and for good reason!

  11. Linda, I don't know why I am having so much trouble getting my comment to upload but I will try again. There is so much to like in your post. Your links, poem, and lovely photo - all paying tribute to the mother - daughter relationship and the love of haiku. There's a city in your schedule so relax and savor each wonderful memory and moment.

  12. How funny that we both posted about this book today! I was originally going to write about Amy & Syd's book in September, but you know what my life has been like since then! It's interesting to me how we both came to the same conclusion about H is For Haiku (amazing!), yet our reviews are so different. Love your haiku and that wonderful photo of you and your mom. Hugs to you, Linda!

  13. It IS a special book with such a special story - glad you are adding light over here, too! And lovely story about your own mom. I'm lucky to still have my mother, who made my wedding dress, with 2,000-plus little seed pearls....:0) XO

  14. Thank you for sharing this lovely book and your story about your mom. My mom is still around--and she's an amazing seamstress. I'm so grateful for the time I have with her. And I ordered the book from the library--can't wait to read it.

  15. What a lovely review! Thank you. I look forward to reading it for myself.

  16. What a lovely review. It's been such a joy to follow Amy on the path as she's shepherded this book to publication.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!