of Rain, by Gary Hotham (St. Paul, Minn.: Juniper
Press, 2004). 16 pages, 3½ x 4½, letterpress printed,
hand-bound and sewn. ISBN 1-55780-169-X. Edition
limited to 150 copies. $5.00 ppd from Juniper Press,
PO Box 8037, St. Paul, MN 55108.
Hothams haiku will be familiar to most readers
and, while his range of work is better represented
in his longer book Breath Marks (Canon Press,
1999), it would be a mistake to dismiss his smaller,
more frequent chap-books. The latest from Juniper
Presss yearly Chickadee series, Odor of
Rain presents eleven poems, many of which have
been previously published. Two examples from the
first poem speaks well of mankinds need to
compartmentalize or name thingsthe coffees
pungent scent allowing further nuances. The outdoors
comes inside in the second poem, bringing with it
the larger season and giving the theatrical production
a larger context.
Hothams poetry is an excellent example of
the organic style in which the poet is more concerned
with the right words in the right order than with
adhering to any conscious structure. He is quietly
honest and never gim-micky. His poetry encompasses
all aspects of his life and he seeks meaning to
the moments he describes. Often, when we find him
looking inwards, we see ourselves.
only for the diehard Hotham fan.