Two reviews by Christof Blumentrath and Rüdiger Jung:
She comes up the driveway with the familiar rumble, followed by the squeaking of the bicycle stand. The nice woman from the post office comes to us by bike. I go to meet her. The little darling is well padded in the envelope, I carefully pull it out and think: Oh, how beautiful it turned out!
VA RIAT IONEN - she skilfully inserted the title into the exciting photographic design of the cover, "Fields of Gold". Gabriele Hartmann presents in this beautifully made booklet on 168 pages the Haiku she published in 2020. The small format work (DIN A6, landscape format, spiral binding) lies comfortably in the hand, the paper is pleasantly thick and immediately makes a high-quality impression. The haiku, shown on both sides and simply on a white background, take me on a very varied path through the past year. Gabriele Hartmann did not structure the haiku strictly according to the seasons. Nevertheless, one recognizes a kind of timeline. Her texts are extremely diverse thematically as well as stylistically and range from the more classical style in traditional form:
Hand in hand we eavesdrop
the silence afterwards
the first cherries
and what does the husband bring me?
Stones ... only stones!
about great one-liners:
the ninth - creaking floorboards
naked in the mirror we go blind across red
up to Gendai-Haiku:
All 1 of the 8th to make me happy
She also cites haiku in English:
in the skyline - we think
our dream to an end
in the skyline - we think
our dream come to an end
The author takes us into nature:
creeps from puddle to puddle
a bike lane
does not stop at well-measured draft:
one of the stars
his last photo
with the harmonica
and repeatedly illuminates - avoiding any personal reference - interpersonal relationships:
after all this years
The year 2020 will probably be shaped for all of us by the corona pandemic. Gabriele Hartmann also deals with this topic, but luckily she doesn't give it too much space, rather she grants us a good-humored wink:
a strange perfume
the minimum distance
Of course, every reader has stylistic and thematic preferences. But the texts collected here are of great depth, surprise again and again with astonishing turns of phrase and offer an impressive range of contemporary haiku poetry. Not only the experienced "old hands" of the haiku scene, but also the inexperienced, searching, the still insecure poets, I would recommend this small, fine collection to study.
My favorite haiku? A favorite? This decision is not an easy one. And yet. The following haiku has been one of my personal greatest hits from the first time you read it:
on the sideboard
there is fine dust
Review Ruediger Jung
Nothing human is alien to Gabriele Hartmann. For me, this is a major reason why I really long for their annual compilations of the haiku that are individually published in different places. Fine humor and deeper insight are always very close together:
just like the father
the gray heads
above the stroller (p. 9)
“The gray heads” have a natural interest in duration and continuity. Similarities may be evident - or (ouch!) Drawn by the hair. Similarities can be harmful or beneficial for those affected. But nobody is completely absorbed in their similarities - let alone that someone is ever "completely the father". A new life is extended in the “pram”, which hopefully finds its own way one day (although, thankfully, without the constant need to reinvent the wheel).
In general: New beginnings - Haiku are made for it:
afterwards - together
buy new cups (p. 95)
Doesn't that sound wonderfully like reconciliation after some things have previously been broken? Not to forget: You should already have all the “cups in the cupboard”!
Even the most magical chance (enchanted prince!) Can be repeated if a woman just gives herself a jerk:
in the spring light
last year's frog
my heart leaps (p. 79)
Even success in gambling can cause fear as long as envious people are to be expected:
three same symbols
seen the fear
to become (p. 109)
In the following example, there can hardly be any doubt that even the best-intentioned advice is capable of causing a stab:
between the lips
a needle warns mother
before love (p. 123)
Gabriele Hartmann's haiku are as simple (and complicated!) As life - every line counts:
nothing (p. 68)
sounds resigned in and of itself. But as soon as the first line is preceded by “deep looks”, the leading association is completely different: perfectly happy!
the conductor lifts
the baton (p. 23)
First of all, you don't even feel the resistance, because you immediately have the ingratiating melody of “Silent Night, Holy Night” in your ear. Only the conscious, isolated perception of the word “silence” gives an inkling that the conductor is standing in front of nothing less than squaring the circle. If this is about a human “conductor” - which is not the only reading in the context of Christmas. A divine conductor could well orchestrate the silence - against all our strife and noise.
The following Good Friday verse bears clear traces of the Corona year 2020:
the death of Jesus
canceled (p. 57)
As part of the first lockdown, the large attendance services that were obligatory for Holy Week and Easter were canceled. “The death of Jesus / canceled” sounds like the salvation of the Son of God and Son of Man. Theologically things are more complicated: “Good Friday” would be omitted - as the day of our salvation and redemption, our salvation. Seven syllables are enough for the author to touch on the whole problem that arises when Christians cannot celebrate their great holidays with worship!
In my opinion, it is a special gift of the author to open up poetic linguistic space, especially in view of the nature of human longing:
under the clouds the city
deserted (p. 46)
Naturally! Who is it in the city - when the wistful Vogel-V is to be seen outside the gates - regardless of whether it is about departure or return. The whole thing also has an individual reading - not without a fine sense of humor:
he says - he goes
Get cigarettes (p. 108)
Does someone do the Kerkeling - and go on the St. James pilgrimage path? Not excluded!
I'll close with one of my favorite haiku. Because here the eyes are allowed to do what we otherwise only allow the gaze to do
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