Our Pitiful Metaphors, Haibun
by Jean LeBlanc
Reviewed by Lenora Rain-Lee Good
Nonfiction / Poetry / Haibun
December 18, 2021
ISBN-10 : 8182538297
ISBN-13 : 978-8182538290
To Order: Amazon
I have read the now and then haibun (poetic form combining prose poem and haiku) and while I found them interesting, that was it, okay for a onesie-twosie. This is a book of haibun, and it blew my socks off!
Ms. LeBlanc knows her language, how to use it, stretch it, reshape it to her will. I love it when a book sends me to the dictionary, especially to double check a word that I thought I knew, but suddenly wasn’t so sure. And a couple I don’t think I’d ever met before.
Several of the prose pieces are sentence fragments, many lacking capital letters or even rudimentary punctuation, and they pack a wallop!
The first piece, on page 5, is titled ***, begins, “work it out for yourself … words of unknown origin, words yet to be.” And from there, we do work it out ourselves as we put meaning and punctuation where it fits best at the time of reading. And there are pieces with new words.
I read this book straight through the first time. The second time I reread those that grabbed me the first time, and in many cases as I re-read a poem, I caught a different meaning. I moved a comma in my mind to a new place. And some that didn’t grab me the first time through became the stars of the day sky when read again.
This is a book to be savored as a forgotten bottle of Port you just found in the back of your wine cellar, as the most elegant chocolate mousse you’ve ever eaten, as that final caress before you and your love slide into sleep.
The last page, origami, ends, “up to my thighs / in waterlily— / open, open”. Open this book, read it again and then read it again. Open, open …