The Wandering Heron by Sid Gershgoren, with an introduction by Thomas McGrath, is now available as an ebook. This book was first published in 1999 as a limited edition, letterpress book, hand-bound in a Japanese style. Unfortunately, this title has been unavailable for many years. It’s my hope that these wonderful haiku by Gershgoren and the introductory essay by McGrath can now travel farther afield, on e-wings, to find new readers.
The Wandering Heron (iBooks)
The Wandering Heron (Kindle)
The Wandering Heron (Epub3 for most other e-readers)
E-book conversion and coding has been done in house and by hand to ensure proper formatting of poetry and a clean reading page.
2 thoughts on “The Wandering Heron by Sid Gershgoren”
How bout a free sample?
The sample you get from iBooks stops just before you get anything of substance, how disappointing. Here’s an excerpt from McGrath’s introduction, which I think applies to his own small poems as well as Gershgoren’s haiku.
“But why haiku? And why haiku in traditional forms? Hardly anyone in America writes it, and of those who do there are only a handful who write it in the ‘true spirit’ of Basho, Issa, Shiki, Buson—the Great Japanese. The reason may lie in the diffusiveness of much American poetry, often without rhythm, with hardly memorable lines and significant language (perhaps the last poet to have them was Dylan Thomas) and the emptiness of direct, bodily contact with the world. Perhaps we might consider Gershgoren’s efforts in this direction an instinctive protest rather than a consciously planned assault on the crumbling tools of language.
“And there is another problem. English, unlike Japanese, does not lend itself to the 5-7-5 syllable form. First, we are not syllable counters, and four and six syllable lines, when they feel syllabic, might do better. But there seems to be something else, much more obscure, which pulls Gershgoren in this direction. Perhaps a desire to conform to an older tradition? Or perhaps a challenge, often a good idea because it helps in the discovery of New Found Lands.
“The best way to get a feel for haiku (and I’m sure that Gershgoren had originally proceeded in this way) is to read R. H. Blythe’s four volume anthology of haiku and his one volume collection of senryu (unfortunately out of print). If we skip Blythe’s comments and quotations and go directly to the haiku, we will begin to take into us a ‘flavor’ of this small, sturdy and significant poetic form. It is the flavor, the insight, that counts. The syllables just happened to be there, and for some reason there is in the best examples a rightness in both syllabic count and insight. It is at this point that we are in touch with something large, though it may only be measured in a few words. It is like holding in your hand a piece of the real world in the form of words….” – Thomas McGrath
And a couple of samples of the haiku by Gershgoren:
His broken glasses
in the pebbles of the stream,
leaves slowly falling inside
the polished gravestones.
Rainbow in her hair,
carefully combing it out
again and again.
– Sid Gershgoren