Unless stated otherwise, all poetry on Swimming in Lines of Haiku is Copyright Kirsten Cliff and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from the author. kirsten(DOT)cliff(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Simply Haiku, Simply Tanka, Simply Svetlana

When I first heard the news that Svetlana Marisova was to be the new tanka editor at Simply Haiku it gave me courage; I knew I should try sending some of my work there for the first time.

Unfortunately, our dear Svetlana passed away before she could fully embrace this role. In honour of her, I sent in my submission anyway, knowing that she wouldn't be there to receive it.

I'm grateful that two of my tanka were chosen in the end to be part of this latest issue of Simply Haiku, which is in loving memory of Svetlana. You can read an in depth piece on her and her poetry by Robert D. Wilson here.

          on the morning 
          of her death, I sit
          for the small differences
          between these wild finches

          why couldn't I
          have let myself love her?
          the sun's warmth
          as I sit in the graveyard
          this spring morning

A posthumous book, Be Still and Know: a journey through love in Japanese short form poetry, by Svetlana Marisova, and her dear friend Ted van Zutphen, is out on-line now. You can read it free here. Print copies with be available for purchase soon.

Having been given the honour of reading a preview of the book, I can say that I've never read or seen anything like it before. It's a beautiful conversation between two haiku poets across the page, across time zones, across seasons, genders, age groups... It works extremely well as their voices balance and blend throughout the book.

I look forward to holding a copy in my hands very soon and savouring the unique voices of these two haijin.

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff
Tanka appeared in Simply Haiku (Autumn/Winter 2011) here
Book cover © Ted van Zutphen


  1. Hi Kirsten,

    the book is now available as a full colour paperback that may be ordered from https://www.createspace.com/3764340

  2. Your "finches" tanka reminded me of the "three finches" haiku that appeared in A Handful of Stones. I want to let you know that when i read it, it inspired me to write about the robins that I watched one time by my window. I created a haiga with a photo that I took at that time and wrote about how the trill of a robin made me feel better. It will appear in the inaugural issue of Multiverses. Thanks for the inspiration, Kirsten!

  3. Thank you for your lovely message, Christine! :)
    So great to hear that my poetry has inspired you and lead you to your own creation. Bravo!
    I look forward to seeing it in Multiverses.
    Kirsten x