Morning Haiku

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Beacon Press, 2010 - Poetry - 104 pages
2 Reviews
This new volume by the much-loved poet Sonia Sanchez, her first in over a decade, is music to the ears: a collection of haiku that celebrates the gifts of life and mourns the deaths of revered African American figures in the worlds of music, literature, art, and activism. In her verses, we hear the sounds of Max Roach "exploding in the universe," the "blue hallelujahs" of the Philadelphia Murals, and the voice of Odetta "thundering out of the earth." Sanchez sings the praises of contemporaries whose poetic alchemy turns "words into gems": Maya Angelou, Richard Long, and Toni Morrison. And she pays homage to peace workers and civil rights activists from Rosa Parks and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm to Brother Damu, founder of the National Black Environmental Justice Network. Often arranged in strings of twelve or more, the haiku flow one into the other in a steady song of commemoration. Sometimes deceptively simple, her lyrics hold a very powerful load of emotion and meaning.

There are intimate verses here for family and friends, verses of profound loss and silence, of courage and resilience. Sanchez is innovative, composing haiku in new forms, including a section of moving two-line poems that reflect on the long wake of 9/11. In a brief and personal opening essay, the poet explains her deep appreciation for haiku as an art form. With its touching portraits and by turns uplifting and heartbreaking lyrics, Morning Haiku contains some of Sanchez's freshest, most poignant work.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - andreas.wpv - LibraryThing

Totally not an interesting or good for me. Using the term haiku for phrase snippets and then stringing 15 together to make a poem - why call it haiku? Haiku get their strength from their form - not from twisting it. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kidzdoc - LibraryThing

Morning Haiku is a slim collection of haiku compositions, most of which celebrate the lives and mourn the deaths of prominent African-American musicians, singers, writers, and activists. My favorite ... Read full review


haiku for Philadelphia Murals
haiku for Eugene Redmond
haiku for Max Roach
haiku for Brother Damu
haiku for Maya Angelou
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About the author (2010)

Sonia Sanchez—poet, activist, scholar—was the Laura Carnell professor of English and women’s studies at Temple University. She is the recipient of both the Robert Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award. One of the most important writers of the Black Arts movement, Sanchez is the author of sixteen books, including Like the Singing Coming off the Drums (Beacon / 6843-4 / $14.00 pb), Does Your House Have Lions? (Beacon / 6831-1 / $16.00 pb), Wounded in the House of a Friend (Beacon / 6827-4 / $16.00 pb), and Shake Loose My Skin (Beacon / 6853-3 / $14.00 pb). She lives in Philadelphia.

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