Thomas Berger

Stop at the night. Haiku

Year of publication: 2000

2000, Kelkheim (Taunus), 172 pages, paperback, 12,70 EUR, ISBN 978-3-922272-57-1 or directly from the author:


The book is devoted to the diverse aspects of darkness. The haiku circle the secret of darkness without succumbing to the temptation to illuminate it.
The aim is to stand up to the night, to perceive its peculiarities and to look over them at the foundation of light reality.
The small form of the haiku close to nature and the deliberately simple drawings by the author try to come close to silence at night.


Thomas Berger: A break into the night. Haiku. With drawings by the author. Kelkheim: M.-G.-Schmitz-Verlag, 2000, 172 pages.

The “hymns to the night” of a Novalis may have been the most sustainable engagement of an author for the “other of light”. Thomas Berger is walking in his trail: no one shares the path with me under the night clouds, only the moon above. (P. 9) Pale yellow sickle over colorless trees. A single sound. (P. 104)

It doesn't have to be lonely - on the side of the moon. Klopstock already knew him as a "friend of thoughts". Others are not fooling themselves: a night can be very productive: at dawn the clever fox returns with rich prey. (P. 10)

At night, Berger is on the path of demythologization: black plumage - this is how your bad reputation, unsuspecting raven, came about. (P. 12) Glittering pond, carefree snapping crucian carp over a dark background. (P. 35) It is not that the "raven" is idealized. In his case (the biblical creation story d'accord), “guileless” means beyond good and evil. Even the “carefree” of the “crucian carpets” in no way means to humanize them in a roundabout way. They are simply beyond concern.

How does a poem like the following relate to the poetic tradition of Japan? The night before my eyes I am delighted with the splendor of colors: this is how I want to live. (P. 85) It is possible that this sounds very deliberate and reflective in the homeland of haiku. But let's not ignore the commitment to beauty despite and with its impermanence - that seems very Japanese to me! The same forest path and yet silently transformed by the snow white of the night. (P. 18) A snowflake that slowly blows to the ground. That's how my life is. (P. 143)

Rudiger Jung


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