J. Sherrys new collection glows with gentle grace,
charm, and humor. I found it a pleasure from start to finish.
In addition to 100 haiku and senryu, A Breath of Haiku
includes a rengay written with H.F. Noyes, two kasen renku
with Edward J. Sherry, two haiku sequences, a handful of
tanka, and a few visual surprises. Helen has an artists
eye. I imagine it twinkling as she experiences and composes
her signature haiku, many of which freshen the familiar
with delightful turns of language.
the snail uses
its full stretch
a dove call settles
in the chimney
a crow flies its call
deep into the forest
lights slowly fit
catches human beings with deft strokes, too.
a boy fills his breath
her hand strokes the air
above the pony
he yawns through
the local paper
her lotioned hands
hold the bait
the end, beneath a lovely photograph of the poet with one
of her paintings, the book features this quotation from
Henri Matisse: I have always tried to hide my own
efforts and wish my work to have the lightness and joyousness
of springtime which never lets anyone suspect the labors
it has cost. In haiku, senryu, tanka, and linked verse,
Helen J. Sherry has successfully adopted the French painters
manifesto to perfect a consistently recognizable and uniquely
welcome haikai voice.