Shillong, Aug 9: Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih’s sixth collection of poetry in English, ‘Time’s Barter: Haiku and Senryu’ has achieved the rare distinction of becoming the first book of haiku poems by an individual author from the Northeast to be published by Harper Collins, one of the most prestigious publishers in the world today.
Released by the Vice-Chancellor of Martin Luther Christian University, R. G. Lyngdoh, who is himself a well-known writer and statesman, in a function held on August 8 last at the conference hall of St. Anthony’s College here, the book consists of 280 haiku and senryu (or funny haiku) presented in an elegant gift-sized edition with lovely illustrations.
The haiku is the smallest of the world’s literary forms origiting in Japan, where it has been well established since at least the seventeenth century.
It normally contains three lines, with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second and 5 in the third.
Modern haiku, however, no longer follow the 5-7-5 pattern very strictly and strive instead for brevity, concision, suggestiveness and a profound metaphorical quality through the use of concrete imagery and present-tense immediacy.
This is what the award-winning Welsh writer, poet and critic, Nigel Jenkins, had to say about the book:
“This collection of haiku by Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih represents a breakthrough for the haiku not only in the Northeast, where I gather from anthologists of the region’s literature that there are no known haiku practitioners, but also in India as a whole, where there may be little more than half a dozen serious haiku poets....”
Jenkins also showered high praises on the book, saying: “At their best, these haiku— full of rain, land clouds, plums and (like the Japanese) cherries, domestic life, city vistas and unclichéd vignettes of the abundant ture for which his land is renowned— richly exemplify the three defining features which Tony Conran has isolated as the essence of haiku— ‘loneliness, tenderness and slenderness’. Then there are the characteristic attributes of brevity, concision, simplicity, presence, sensory directness and present-tense immediacy.... The quality of his haiku writing has already been recognised in Wales, where the leading cultural magazine Planet: the Welsh Intertiolist has recently published in its pages a selection of his haiku. One looks forward, now, to seeing what ripples they might make on the still youthful haiku scene of India”.
Also released were two other books by the same author, including Ki Kyrwoh: Ki KhaPhawer and Hiraeth and the Poetry of SosoTham.
While Ki Kyrwoh is a collection of amusing and morally significant fables and parables origiting in these hills.
Hiraeth and the poetry of Soso Tham is a critical study of the poetry of Soso Tham with the help of the Welsh literary convention of hiraeth and the unconventiol elegiac tradition of European literature.