The conventions inherent in the ancient Japanese art of writing haiku, are embedded in its seventeen syllables spread over three lines. They display a poet’s imaginative wit and dexterity. Haiku capture what Gerard Manley Hopkins calls the ‘inscape’, or essence of a moment in nature.
These African haiku illustrate the power of poetry to appeal to the sensory and the cerebral. African philosophical traditions accept that the experience of wonder, reflected here, is the originating source of philosophy. In this new collection of haiku, Botswanan-born Anthea Pretorius captures a variety of precious, but provocatively sombre insights into lived life at the tip of Africa. This collaboration of Japanese word art and African wisdom will keep you spellbound.
A Haiku on Africa (p10):
Africa has time;
dollops of it. Animals
migrate, mate in shade.
Note from the poet: The pace of life in Africa is different. I cannot, with accuracy, say why. The vastness of the continent and its geographical placement may play a role. When I watch animals and the way they live at ease with the rhythms of life, it is as if time expands. People groupings who live close to nature have a timelessness about them that enchants me. In this haiku I tried to capture the natural flow of time in Africa, as it is echoed in annual migration and in procreation – the unforced rhythms of life; the natural order of things.”
Buyers of this collection will obtain free access to an audio recording via a QR code. Listen to a couple of the extracts below.