Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Haikuku by Gwee Li Sui


This book of poems is one of the best haiku books I've read. Not that I've read many, maybe about 3? Hahaha. Anyways let's get started with the review. 

Gwee has been posting haikus on his Facebook page for some time now and this collection features many of them. 


It's arranged chronologically and the astute Singaporean that's been keeping up with current affairs for the past couple of years would probably recognise what he refers to in the pithy poems. 

Covering almost every major incident in the sunny island from the haze, to Amos Yee, to the Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, to the Little India riots, to elections to Joseph Schooling and more, this is a short history of the past half decade of Singapore. 

I would recommend reading it twice. The first time I read, I simply looked at the haikus and smiled with delight on how he managed to compress each event into 17 syllables. 


The second time I read, I referred to the titles of the haikus that only appear at the end of the book to figure out exactly what he was referring to. There were some that were rather foreign to me you see. 

I think this would make an excellent gift to anyone and is a small and light book that's easy to put in your bag or briefcase to read on the train. 

It's a book that can be read again and again. I am reading it for the third time now and it's still as entertaining. 

I guess one of the drawback is that the poems might feel a bit dated after a while. I already felt it in one or two of the earlier pieces. I guess only time will tell if these poems will age as well as fine wine does. 


Although the price tag is somewhat steep ($19.90 at Kinokuniya), the book contains 120 poems. So for the Singaporean who wants things to be value for money, it's $0.166 per poem. And if you read it twice, it's $0.083 per poem. Very worth it right? Hahahaha, so go get your copy today! Trust me, you won't regret it. 

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