Redneck Haiku/Double-wide Edition by Mary K. Witte

RedneckFor would-be versifiers, writing haiku can be a rewarding early attempt at poetry.  The challenge with writing haiku is keeping within the 5-7-5 syllable structure.  It’s easier (supposedly) to write haiku in its original context of Japanese, which captures a more concise idea within the structure.  With the English language, the words are shorter and as such, when you try to conform to the 5-7-5 structure, sometimes the poem loses its conciseness.  Often, haiku in English is written in fewer syllables to convey the idea more concisely.  However, I am a stubborn cuss, and stick to the tried and true 5-7-5 when I write it.

The author of this collection sticks to this form as well, with hilarious results.  I first “met” this book about three years ago, and never fail to (achingly) laugh at its tongue-in-cheek humor.  Not only that – reading the book sparked my interest for haiku and the great things one can do with this poetic form.  Haiku writers usually concern themselves with nature and such; in this collection, beer drinking, deer hunting, and trailers are the subjects of Witte’s wit. 

If you offend easily, this might not be the collection of verse you desire.  However, if you want to read something fresh and appreciate Foxworthy-esque laughs (although I think Witte does it better), read on – and be prepared for your sides to hurt.

(William Hicks, Information Services)


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