A serene and very human voice emerges from a year-long tanka journal in which the changing seasons reflect the poet’s thoughts on illness, love, and world events.
The great delight of the tanka is the jewel-like images it produces: how a bowl captures moonlight, willow twigs flaring at sunset, a poet wandering into a fog, pumpkin shoots, playing checkers when the doorbell rings.
Poems that chronicle the progress of illness, the black butterfly of cancer, alternate with visiting wild birds and animals and moments of humour, even in the hospital, where crutches are stolen by hospital terrorists, musings on the Israel/Palestine tragedy, and the nature of old age and love.
Kituai may be one of those rare writers who reject the idea that illness and death are things that have to be worked through and then left behind; rather, by beginning and ending with winter, she suggests death and loss are where we begin and what we work towards. There’s peace in that thought.