Wisteria: A Journal of Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka
It’s refreshing. One never knows what to expect from poetry these days (excepting the creative departure from the unexpected, a reality that was further drummed into my meager brain by the journal Wisteria).
Being the stubborn ‘fear of form’ poet that I am, reading the haiku, senryu and tanka in Wisteria was a bracing experience. Whether or not Wisteria aims to enlighten folk like myself on the flexibility of form, it does. I feel enlightened.
Admittedly, the reading of Wisteria imbued me with a new and poignant lesson on these traditional Japanese forms; namely, these forms can carry any subject matter. Surprise! Haiku, tanka and even senryu need not contain a crane or grasshopper to be legitimate (they can and this is beautiful too, but it is not a primary criterion). Wisteria successfully makes this point. These are modern poems written in traditional form. These are modern poems written in traditional form that work.
The poets of Wisteria gift readers with poems of a more traditional beauty, such as M. Kei’s:
when I kneel in the earth
I place my hands
against my mother’s face
and Cathy Drinkwater Better’s:
three days inside…
the petals of the rose
just let go
as well as poems of contemporary life:
I almost buy
and Gary Hotham’s:
our small hotel room-
moths native to
Wisteria is a brilliant showcase of multi-contextual poems of wonder. There is true beauty to be found in this journal. I would recommend it to newbies as well as to long time lovers of haiku, senryu, or tanka any day. To find out more about Wisteria, to subscribe or submit, visit http://www.wisteria.blogspot.com.
Wisteria: A Journal of Haiku, Senryu and Tanka, copyright 2006, P.O. Box 15093 Lufkin, Texas 75915-0932, ISSN: 1931-986X.