As Feathers Fall: An Anthology in the Spirit of Haiku & Tanka

By Irene Naested  + Magpie Poets (2024) Quies Publishing

Poetry has the ability to transcend language, borders and time, to spark the imagination. In this anthology in the spirit of haiku and tanka, the Magpie Poets gathered and engaged to find a poet or verse from ancient Japanese women which spoke to them and created their own poetry in the spirit of either haiku or tanka, sometimes integrating one line or simply using it as inspiration.

The poems are written in sequence style, offering a chance to more deeply explore a line or write more reflectively as the connection to it developed. The process was having one poet set the direction using one of seven lines from a Japanese poet as inspiration. A respondent poet ‘listened’, mused and composed a response. When both poets felt the sequence was complete, the exchange was finished. This often led to surprising directions within the poetry. Sometimes the poetry turned out as a narrative, sometimes it had a theme and sometimes an unexpected direction. In this paired poetic exercise, we came to know each other better and braodened our experience as poets. We were able to create more intimate and thoughtful dialogue because of this practice.

Irene would like to extend a thanks to Mary V for her outstanding editing work on this project and Sherry from Orange Ambition for book layout and cover design.

Irene in Mexico