Jennifer H. Weber, Thomas Berger

Safe in the flow of time. haiku dialogues

Year of publication: 2023

Publisher: ‎ edition featherweight; 1st edition 2023
340 haikus. With 16 color illustrations.
128 Seiten
24,00 €
ISBN 978-3-946112-86-0


Further information

Text samples, tables of contents, bibliographical information, sources of supply (not all elements available at the same time)

In this haiku volume, an extraordinary love story is "told" alternately from the perspective of man and woman. The book is illustrated with ink drawings by Jennifer H. Weber. The drawings show pairs of cranes in different positions to each other, which illustrate the respective situation of the lovers.


Review by Johannes Chwalek as part of his work history by the author Thomas Berger, which is in progress

Jennifer H. Weber, Thomas Berger, Safe in the Stream of Time. haiku dialogues,
edition light as a feather, Fuldatal 2023

We can report on a lovingly designed volume with the title "Geborgen im Zeitenstrom" and the genre reference "Haiku dialogues". Jennifer H. Weber and Thomas Berger wrote it; the author also contributed seventeen ink drawings of two cranes, which can be seen in ever-changing positions. It becomes clear that the animals are in mutual affection and embody the love that the 128-page book contains.
The foreword states that the “three hundred and forty haiku of the book […] each tell an extraordinary love story from the perspective of woman and man” . So we are dealing with a shift in genre boundaries, in that epic content is conveyed in lyrical form. This overlapping of genres is familiar from the ballad, but the strophic form of the ballad is opulent and is therefore reminiscent of a narrative work. The fact that Jennifer H. Weber and Thomas Berger choose the shortest form of poetry, the haiku, of all things to tell a love story is not without its special appeal. Originally, the haiku, which comes from the Japanese tradition, was and is used to illustrate a moment and tipping moment in nature. Western culture has at least partially given up this definition of content and, with the haiku, also addresses aspects without direct reference to nature. However, the fact that a story spanning decades is told with the help of a haiku is unusual and testifies to the author's courage to open up new creative paths.
The unusual love story of a man and a woman is presented and reflected on in five chapters. The first chapter "EINST" provides the readership with information about the beginning of the love affair: "Only a train ride: / such a fateful journey / to our beginning." This haiku of the "woman" - thus the author Jennifer H. Weber - receives the following correspondence from "Mannes" - so the author Thomas Berger: "Once I only suspected / in the small train compartment / that great things began." A haiku on the next page: "At tender seventeen / a captivating smile - / that's how it all began" continues to explain the early meeting of the author couple. The microstructure of the chapters is shown by the fact that, via the dialogue form of the haiku pairs on the part of the woman and then the man, individual later haiku in the same chapter can be regarded as a deepening counterpoint to the earlier haiku; other haiku describe the progression of the plot. This concerns the move of the woman in the first chapter. The long-distance relationship by letter flagged outwardly, but "A weak glimmer" remained; the woman "follows" his "works and traces / in the global network." Three decades pass before the woman can write "REFINDEN" in the second chapter: "my urgent cry for you / was finally heard." The realization that the couple belongs together, even after the long period of time that has passed, the man puts it this way: "In primeval times / Zeus cut the ball in two. / But we found each other.” Now – finally – the life of the couple begins under the chapter heading “TOGETHER” – at least internally as an awareness of belonging together. Externally, both still live in distant cities. Clarity must also be gained on this point. At the end of the third chapter "TORN APART", the man says: "I can see it clearly: / the magpie is building its nest now - / we're doing it too."
The vividness of the haiku is present throughout the text, but reaches a climax in the last chapter "UNITED AT THE SEA". Staying with cormorants, oysters, lugworms and "cackling seagulls" gives the couple the certainty of wanting to "live / sleep, cook, enjoy together". The journey of love and life has come true: "Embraced by fate / new fulfillment every day / at his side," writes the woman. The man replies: "Live together, / safe in the flow of time, / in the sea of ​​love."

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit elit, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, dapibus leo pulvinar.