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Nick Virgilio:A Life in Haiku Paperback – Large Print, March 22, 2012
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About the Author
Nick Virgilio, who was a pioneer of American haiku poetry, penned some of this country's most elegiac and memorable haiku. Born and bred in Camden, New Jersey, he was a legend to some, an inspiration to others. He spent countless hours at his Remington typewriter, writing haiku about nature, the people of Camden and south Philadelphia, and his family. In particular, he detailed the deep sense of loss that affected him and his family when his youngest brother, Larry, was killed in Vietnam. Edited and introduced by Raffael de Gruttola, a former president of the Haiku Society of America, "Nick: A Life in Haiku" includes more than 100 newly discovered haiku as well as old favorites, essays on the craft of writing, excerpts of an interview on "Radio Times" in Philadelphia, a tribute by Michael Doyle of Sacred Heart Church, family photos and replicas of original manuscript pages from the Rutgers University archive in Camden, N.J. It is a perfect companion for haiku lovers, urban poetry lovers, combat veterans and high school/college writing classes whose students will enjoy its easily accessible and deeply moving poetry, its glimpse inside the writing process and its encouragement of new authors. Readers will gain a strong sense of this great haiku poet and his life in Camden as well as an appreciation of the power of haiku as a form of poetry. An afterword by poet Kathleen O'Toole spells out Nick's legacy as one of the most beloved and influential haiku poets in America.
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Top customer reviews
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His feel for the precise word to convey the delicacy of his observation is present in most of what he wrote.He adapted the haiku to modern-day sensibilities. His poems celebrating his brother Larry's death (and therefore his brother's life) are amongst the really moving moments of haiku magic I have come across in my encounters with haiku to date.
Western haiku should not want to be a reflection of Eastern haiku, but the adapted form, in the hands of someone as adept as Nick Virgilio was, provides us still with beautiful poems such as these:
the shadow of the bugler
slips into the grave
I would have been very proud to have written those lines. As I would had I written these:
on the manuscript
the shadow of a butterfly
finishes the poem
His haiku will live in the hearts of those who cherish the form.
off the moon
blew my mind. I searched out more of his work; and when I discovered that he'd already died, was disappointed to think I'd never read any more of his poems.
This book was a pleasant surprise, and earns a permanent place on my shelf.
Most recent customer reviews
The prose sections about him and by him are added attractions.