CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Naomi Wakan
Vancouver, Pacific-Rim Publishers, 1993. kit (Haiku: One Breath Poetry, 72pp, paper
ISBN 0-921358-18-05, 20 slides and captions), $39.95. CIP

Subject Headings:
Haiku-History and criticism.

Grades 4 and up / Ages 9 and up

Reviewed by Pat Bolger

Volume 22 Number 1
1994 Jan/Feb

Wakan's brief Haiku: One Breath Poetry will be a useful addition to the poetry shelf in school libraries. Its colourful cover and endpapers, engaging illustrations and larger print enhance its attractiveness even to reluctant readers. There is a lot of information here: the nature of haiku, its history, and biographical sketches of the four masters, Basho, Buson, Issa and Shiki.

The clarity and simplicity of Wakan's presentation make it suitable for intermediate and senior elementary grades, but the introduction of more difficult concepts such as kireji and samadhi and the inclusion of the Japanese for translated haiku extend its range through the secondary level. No effort has been spared in the attempt to make this book useful--except in the editing, which has allowed disconcerting errors such as confusion between "breath," "breathe" and "breadth."

The twenty slides in the kit are in clearly labelled, highly durable plastic mounts. The haiku they illustrate so effectively come from a wide range of authors: Wakan herself, her translations of the Japanese masters, and young writers in Canada and other countries.

"Everyone can write haiku," says Wakan, and she provides all the help required.

Highly recommended for elementary and secondary school libraries as a resource for students and teachers doing creative writing projects with the haiku form.

Pat Bolger is a retired teacher-librarian in Renfrew, Ontario
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.Copyright information for reviewers

francaisDigital Collections / Collections Numérisees francais