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Morning Haiku Hardcover – February 1, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sanchez gives herself over with deep pleasure to the exacting beauty of haiku, a form she has cherished her entire writing life. Winner of the Robert Frost Medal and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award, among many other honors, Sanchez has for decades been a soaring voice in protest against racism, sexism, and other forms of injustice, and in praise of black heritage and culture. Her newest haikus are diamond distillations of complex feelings, painful history, the torrent of language, and oceanic sensuality. Inspired by an array of fellow artists, from Odetta to Max Roach, Elizabeth Catlett to Beauford Delaney, Maya Angelou to Toni Morrison, as well as Oprah Winfrey, Sanchez’s bright and dancing poems shimmer with surprising juxtapositions, unexpected flight patterns, and leap frog associations. Their brevity seems built for speed, but their lyricism and warmth inspire lingering, savoring, reading, and rereading, perhaps aloud. Try: “in the open / alley a galaxy / of dreams.” --Donna Seaman

Review

Sonia Sanchez is a lion in literature's forest. When she writes she roars, and when she sleeps other creatures walk gingerly.—Maya Angelou

Praise for Sonia Sanchez

"Only a poet with an innocent heart can exorcise so much pain with so much beauty."—Isabel Allende

"Sanchez's powers of empathy shine with rare luminosity."—Paula Friedman, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Does Your House Have Lions? is a work of love and art that confirms Ms. Sanchez as one of the nation's finest poets."—Haki R. Madhubuti

"The poetry of Sonia Sanchez is full of power and yet always clean and uncluttered. It makes you wish you had thought those thoughts, felt those emotions, and, above all, expressed them so effortlessly and so well."—Chinua Achebe

"Her songs of destruction and loss scrape the heart; her praise songs thunder and revitalize. We need these songs for our journey together into the next century."—Joy Harjo
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1st edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807069108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807069103
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sonia Sanchez has written a book full of beautiful haiku. I’ve marked at least half of the 104 pages with one or more haiku that deeply moved me. Here are a few examples:

your death
a blues, i could not
drink away

in the beginning
when memory was sound. there was
bonesmell. bloodtear. whisperscream;

And plenty of beautiful poems of image and sound:

brownskinned
children dancing
with butterflies

your drums
soloing our breaths into
the beat . . . unbeat

I highly recommend the book. Though the subject matter is a thoroughly modern and lovely reflection of African American cultural influence, the emotional impact of Sanchez’s haiku/senryu style is quite similar to that of reading a Japanese haiku in the original.

Many English haiku writers simplistically write haiku in the 5-7-5 form because this is how it was first understood in English. However, Japanese words have more syllables than English words, so the effect of writing 5-7-5 haiku is English is wordy and diluted. Sanchez’s style is more true to the emotional impact by concentrating the impact of each haiku in 5-6 substantive words in most cases, while writing subject matter that is uniquely her own.
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Format: Paperback
It will be nice to have a new copy. Some poetry is so brilliant that the effort of fighting memorization is a fey pleasure; the flow seeps into places you didn't know were there. Speaking of the work of Sonia Sanchez, I found her late in life, and she reminded me of Ita Jones, who wrote The Grub Bag. A friend of mine, Carla Perry, author of Riva Beside Me, said something that guided me to Homegirls and Handgrenades, and here I am, on my second copy of MH. Why are all my other Sanchez books in tatters? Sit down for a week and I'll tell

Better yet, start reading anywhere. Here is good. Some of her work sets Lilies of the Field to music that can't be sung in this world without her words.
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By Vanessa on March 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sonia Sanchez is incredible. You can feel her words and the message she is conveying. I would recommend this to any poetry lover.
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A Kid's Review on June 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Sanchez, has again proven that she is one of America's greatest poets. Morning Haiku challenges the reader to look inside their own spritual journey.
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Format: Paperback
Sonia Sanchez, <strong>Morning Haiku</strong> (Beacon Press, 2010)

One of my favorite examples of people just not getting it is that of the Cult of Lovecraft. Hundreds of authors from August Derleth to Fred Chappell, of all people, have written direct-descendant works of Lovecraft. They vary widely in quality, of course, but most of them have the same basic format: take H. P.'s crrepy-crawlies and integrate them into the author's own style. Which is all well and good, and some of what has emerged from that process is pretty darned good. But then came a chap named Thomas Ligotti, who turned everything on its head. Instead of taking the creepy-crawlies and abandoning the style, Ligotti writes horrific little stories that have completely integrated Lovecraft's style, but with nary a hint of Cthulhu and company to be found. In short, Thomas Ligotti <em>gets it</em>, in a way no other author has, and as a result his stories are more "Lovecraftian" than any raft of August Derleths or Ramsey Campbells.

Needless to say, there's a parallel to be had here. American writers, or perhaps I should say "attempters", of haiku take the creepy-crawlies, most notably the syllable count, without really grasping the concepts that lie behind haiku: economy (Henderson, in <em>Haiku in English</em>, notes that 5/7/5 generally results in haiku that are too wordy. Indeed.), mysticism, nature. Nature, in fact, is so important that haiku without a link to nature aren't haiku at all, they're actually senryu. Very few American authors understand this (in fact, the only one that comes to mind off the top of my head is Nick Mamatas, whose <em>Cthulhu Senryu</em> is a perfect example).

I've read god knows how many American collections of stuff pretending to be haiku.
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