Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hockey Haiku

I received this from John Poch this morning:

Hockey Haiku: The Essential Collection

(St. Martin’s Press)

By John Poch and Chad Davidson

The long awaited marriage of Zen poetry and blood-sport

The timeless tradition of haiku has long been held aloft as the most sublime way to evoke terrestrial harmony, using spare but weighted text culled from the most transcendent linguistic territory.

The enduring sport of hockey, performed at a blistering octane by only the mightiest of contenders and conditioned athletes, is comparable in its ability to conjure a primal and rabid zeal from a thundering throng.

The union of these two phenomena is undoubtedly their cosmic destiny.

With the sharpened grace of a gliding blade, author John Poch and Chad Davidson craft some of the finest works of sport poetry the world has yet seen. Haunting, visceral, frenetic, and chillingly poignant all at once, these pieces shake the human spirit to its core. If ever there was a collection that captured the totality of athleticism and poetic force, it is, finally and desperately, HOCKEY HAIKU: The Essential Collection.

A Hockey Haiku Aperitif:

In hockey, we say
“the ice,” which is to say, ice
transcends space-time stuff


The ref calls icing.
Everyone is dumb-founded.
There’s ice everywhere.


Stiff cross-checks – you fall
Face down – Narcissus on ice.
Bloody reflection.

What’s so Wild about
Minnesota? Ten thousand
lakes fill up with tears.


Much depends upon
a Red Wing glazed with Duck blood
after fisticuffs.

Berserk hockey dads
have different agendas.
Coach has a shiner.

Hockey haiku, then
volleyball villanelle. Next?
Limerick de luge.

A book as beautiful as it is violent, Hockey Haiku: The Essential Collection is the last word on literature’s greatest genre.


John Poch is a poetry editor of the journal 32 Poems and associate professor at Texas Tech University.

Chad Davidson is an assistant professor of English at the State University of West Georgia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those example don't conform to the pattern rules of Haiku. That will greatly frustrate me