I'm thrilled to introduce you to my friend, Celestine Nudanu, who is a haiku genius and has recently published a book of her work. I'm looking forward to reading my copy.
Guest Post - Why I Write Haiku
I'm so thrilled to be on my dear friend Nana's blog today to talk about why I write haiku. Actually when Nana asked me to do this I had no idea what to write. I knew I had to pen down something in order to promote my new poetry publication, Haiku Rhapsodies. But then why do I write haiku? My first thought was well... I don't know. I just love the art.
But seriously, I fell in love with Haiku, way into my third year of blogging or so. I was a novice then, (I'm still a work-in-progress, as I love to say for the umpteenth time). The simplicity, brevity and inherent beauty of whatever aspects of nature I want to project, appeal to me so much. For me, the three lines are enough to capture all I want to say in a seventeen or less syllabic structure. I do love to talk and I talk a lot when in the mood, but despite the fact that I love to play with words, sometimes, writing this short Japanese-origin poem is truly a wonder to me myself.
As Nana will attest, in Ghana, and indeed most of Africa south of the Sahara, we have only two seasons, dry and wet. So very much unlike the four seasons of the West and Europe! So, writing haiku, which is mostly inspired by nature, is a challenge that I find most rewarding, especially when I blend in the peculiar sights, sounds and rich heritage of Africa.
I lose myself in haiku, both the reading and writing of it. When I see my words on paper or on screen, they tug at my heart; I feel a sense of wholeness. And I mean that. I'm not complete until I write and read haiku.
Celestine Nudanu's Haiku Collection is what I choose to call 'minimalist expressionism' with an African flavour. Not only does the poet in true haiku tradition express so much in cryptic, compact and concise language, but she also vests each piece with subliminal artistry. As the eyes navigate the pages, each poem tells its own story in micro seconds, lingering in the mind as it connects with the next poem. At the end of Haiku Rhapsodies, one is nourished by a corpus that evokes pleasure beyond the printed page.
I must emphasise that it is not easy to take a foreign art form, domesticate it and turn it around into a thing of beauty the way Celestine has done.
For those who like to enjoy poetry with a dose of the exotic, and indeed for all who enjoy micro poetry, Haiku Rhapsodies is just the right tonic.
Celestine Nudanu is a product of the University of Ghana, Legon. She graduated with a BA in English and Theatre Arts, and MA degree in International Affairs.
As well as being a passionate reader and book reviewer, Celestine is also a poet, with a talent for haiku, the short Japanese poetry form. Although she says she is a work-in-progress, her works have been included in two anthologies: Western Haiku: A Collection, and Ballads, both produced by Dagda Publishing UK. Her haiku have also been featured in renowned online haiku journals including Cattails, (Collected Works of UHTS), The Mamba, Journal of African Haiku Network, (of which she is a Supporting Editor) Akita International Haiku Network, Japan, Flamingo Clouds, Netherlands and Failed Haiku, a Journal of English Senryu.
She is a member of the Ghana Association of Writers, (GAW) and the United Haiku and Tanka Society (UHTS), USA.
You can find Celestine at: