A scent of pine: A Maine Haiku Anthology; edited by Bruce Ross; Tancho Press, Bangor; 54 pages, trade paperback, $14.95.
Haiku is a fun little poetic form to fool around with, and “a scent of pine” offers a look at the productions of 18 Mainers who express an affinity for it. A brief introduction by editor Bruce Ross of Hampden observes that the natural imagery of haiku intends to evoke feelings rather than thoughts in the way Henry David Thoreau in his writings evoked feelings about nature. The observation seems to oversimplify Thoreau to some extent, but the general point that poetry is evocative rather than discursive seems well-taken. And haiku, normally three lines providing concise, terse natural imagery, certainly is one approach to that mission.
“Scent of pine” gives one, two or three little poems per page in a sort of cherubic typeface, shuffling poets, seasons and moods together throughout. As in all poetry collections, some of the entries seem sharper than others. One by Anne LB Davidson of Saco stands out:
the icy field
Nice imagery, as they say in creative writing workshops. The book is available by writing to Tancho Press, Suite 127, 499 Broadway, Bangor 04401.