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Volume 33.2
Summer 2002

book review

Full Moon Serenade

William Scott Galasso


reviewed by Marjorie Buettner

Full Moon Serenade, by William Scott Galasso. (Issaquah, Wash.: Galwin Press, 2001). 112 pages, paper, perfectbound. $12.00 postpaid from the author at 10129 NW 113th Place, Kirkland, WA 98033.


The magic of haiku resides in the fact that it inspires the sensitivities of the reader, allowing an immersion of immediate sense perceptions. In Full Moon Serenade by William Scott Galasso, the honesty of the poet's perception is evident in many of his haiku, short verses, and haibun. Though Galasso seems compelled to write some haiku that are stimulated by cause and effect or that casually list, In a prose-like way, images from nature, these few instances do not really deter from the overall quality of this book. It is a quality that captures the mystery of poetry's transformative energy; the reader hears the poetry speak rather than the poet. The reader is satisfied, too, by the language and images the poet offers.

Many of the poems in Full Moon Serenade rely upon the music of sound and the sense of hearing for inspiration:

Snowmelt &
the silent stream
regains its voice.

Often there is a synesthesia of senses that creates a unified poetic image that enables the reader to hear sunlight and see the river's song:

Carried downstream
with the river's song
morning sunlight.

Frequently it is the perception of color that enables the poet to see the pattern in the design, the unity within diversity:

Between black branches
and snow's whiteness
only silence.


Deep and deeper
shades of green
ripening in rain.

This ripening that occurs in spring steeps each spring poem with a sense of magic:

Cherry blossoms
filling vacancies
between branches.


Straight to the moon
skipping stones
over still waters.

To allow oneself to become abandoned to this magic is to allow what Aldous Huxley called "the doors of perception" to be opened and cleansed once again:

through my window
melting in the rain.

A favorite sequence is "In the Beginning"; it is a powerful testament to a love relationship:

Tasting sea salt
on your tongue
& gulls sweep the sky.

In this sequence, Galasso's sense perceptions are vibrating with song.

We see in Full Moon Serenade that the poet is sensitive to the gifts this immediate life has to give and he is not afraid to sing its praise; this book of poetry is, as well, a gift to the reader:


The Moon said to the River
I give to you my light,
and the river replied
And I to you, my song.



©2002 Modern Haiku • PO Box 68 • Lincoln, IL 62656