I ordered A Year in Contemplation Midnight Haiku by Sue Vincent as soon as it became available. Delivery to South Africa is not that quick, even by courier, and it took over a week to arrive. I started reading it immediately.
I do not like to read poetry books in one sitting as I find that the poems can blur and blend together if read to quickly and the distinctiveness of each poem is spoiled for me. I read this book over the course of four evenings. I had hoped to share my review of this book with Sue and let her know how much I loved it, but sadly that has not happened.
On Tuesday, I learned of Sue’s passing on Monday, 29 March. It was expected but still a terrible shock and have spent the past few days adjusting to the idea that Sue has moved on to a higher plane of existence. It is hardest for those left behind and I would like to extend my condolences to Stuart France and Sue’s two sons and grandchildren, as well as all of us in the blogging community who will miss her a great deal.
I decided the best way of paying tribute to Sue would be to share my reviews of her lovely books.
A Year in Contemplation Midnight Haiku
What Amazon says
Haiku is a Japanese poetry form that has become very popular over the past decades, taking on its own unique character under the rules for Haiku in English. a creative mind just seventeen syllables sharing a story The three hundred and sixty-five poems within this book collate a year’s journey in poetry through the seasons and the intermingled landscape of mind, body and spirit. The poems were originally published as “midnighthaiku” every night at the appropriate time, leaving, like Cinderella, a trace of a day’s passing and a glimmer of the day yet to come. Each poem can be read ‘on the surface’, but each has its own layers of meaning too, waiting to be discovered by those who turn their attention to the heart.
Sue Vincent is well know for her poetry. Some is poignant and sad, some is humorous, some is incredibly beautiful, and all is emotional, insightful, and meaningful. Sue has mastered many forms of poetry, including freestyle, rhyming verse, tankas, and haikus.
Her haikus, only 17 syllables long, are among the most powerful of her many poems. This book is a collection of 365 days of haikus and loosely follows the seasons.
The best way of demonstrating the beauty and power of these haikus is by sharing a few of my favourites:
“earth captures heaven
holding stars in tender hands
that the blind may see”
“a flaming chalice
raising itself to the sun
accepting the light”
“beyond the roses
colouring a summer sky
a smiling god paints”
sparking through the fading days
neatly framed in timeless rolls
colouring the day”
These five haiku are the ones that moved me the most and I hope they have illustrated the magnificence of this beautiful book.