A 2nd Flake, now a widely recognized classic of American haiku, first created a sensation among readers and critics in haiku circles and communities in 1974.
This beautiful second edition preserves the original text, including Virgil’s innovative graphic formatting, which differed from the standard English-language three-line haiku. An artist, as well as a writer, she expanded the possibilities for experimentation with concrete haiku.
Harold G. Henderson, co-founder of the Haiku Society of America and author of An Introduction to Haiku (Doubleday, 1958) said of A 2nd Flake:
“This is what I had hoped for—not only haiku, but also offshoots of haiku, poems inspired by haiku, the makings of a new, vital, American development.” The editor-in-chief of World Haiku Review, Susumu Takiguchi, named Virgil“. . . the most refined haiku poet in the contemporary world” (WHR, March 2009).
Though the book is most famous for its haiku, layered with humor, innocence, sparkling wit and voluptuous mirth, there are among them, like radishes in salad, several concise, stringent senryu. How does she distinguish between them? “Simplistically speaking, if it is man within the world, it is haiku. If it is the world within the man, it is senryu” (Introduction to ONE POTATO TWO POTATO ETC, Peaks Press, 1991).
Now, this masterpiece of keen and delicate observation passes on to a new generation of readers.
From the Foreword
by Michael McClintock
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Editor, Acorn: a journal of contemporary haiku
What a treat to have this classic collection by one of the great poets of our time available electronically. With an insightful new foreword by Michael McClintock, this rerelease of Anita Virgil's 1974 book is a treasure.