Book of the Week: Looking at Shadows

by Jim Kacian on December 16, 2013

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romano_lookingatshadows

Emily Romano’s work in this modest chapbook, self-published in 1979, gives a good idea of the state of the art at the time. Her skillful handling of the 5-7-5 or near-so form is among the best of the day, feeling fluid and unforced, which, as those who have tried the rigorous syllable count know, is no easy feat.

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

Do you have a chapbook published 2009 or earlier you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details.

Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by Jim Kacian, following a concept first explored by Tom Clausen, and are used with permission.



lengthening shadows of the purple thistles fresco the wet barn
my shadow falls on the river and at once the duckweed trembles
an old brazil nut casts a triangular shadow; a few mice droppings . . .
a tire swing and its shadow on the snow— not a breath of wind.
shadows of the elms grow longer on the snow; we step over them
moving day: the old homestead recedes into the shadow

{ 4 comments }

June Rose Dowis December 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Loved the tire swing haiku, ‘not a breath of wind’ is a stunning line. Thanks for sharing.

Darrell Lindsey December 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm

a tire swing
and its shadow on the snow—
not a breath of wind.
~ Emily Romano

” a tire swing” foreshadows some of her fine work to come.

Though I like ” lengthening shadows” & ” my shadow falls”, they are more along the line of Ginsberg’s American Sentences.

Ellen Grace Olinger December 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

lengthening shadows
of the purple thistles
fresco the wet barn

Emily Romano

I enjoyed this book and seeing the credits in the book adds to the history. I noted for example that this wonderful poem appeared in Modern Haiku in 1976 – and now this week here.

Many of these poems also express the Wisconsin countryside for me, and I remember the elms.

Thank you, Ellen

h gene murtha December 17, 2013 at 5:33 am

Love those Jersey girls. Emily Romano has always been one of my favorite
poets. Thank you for sharing.

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