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297 Book Reviews allows for both culturally different identities and for cultural relations” (19). Both Paul D and Amy Denver model for Denver “a mix of difference within sameness that is the key to becoming an individuated self within a racially heterogeneous community of male and female others” (94). Concluding with an investigation of the role of the mediating figure in material culture, Fowler shows that social identities depend on a “threshold figure who is double, that is, who shares a relation with both one and the other” (19). She juxtaposes two of these figures, the nineteenth-century blackface minstrel and John Howard Griffin, the journalist who chemically colored his skin in the mid-twentieth century to pass for black so as to investigate race relations in the South from the inside. She concludes that both instances feature cultural appropriation, but Griffin’s experiment, documented in Black Like Me. (1959), is also “a productive sharing of racial identities” (112). With this juxtaposition, Fowler circles back to the questions concerning cultural appropriation and dominance with which she began. She determines that this “sharing of different identities is not the end of different social identities; rather, it is the formula for new multicultural coalitions” (20). The figure enabling this convergence is the father, a mediator who supports rather than oppresses and transforms boundaries of separation into sites of opportunities—it is the father, reimagined, indeed. William Carey University Lorie Watkins African American Haiku: Cultural Visions, edited by John Zheng. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2016. 197pp. $65.00 printed casebinding. AFRICAN AMERICAN HAIKU: CULTURAL VISIONS, A RESOURCE FOR BOTH haikustudies and African American studies, includes ten essays selected by editor John Zheng to highlight “the five most celebrated African American poets in the tradition of haiku and in the variety and inventiveness of their haiku expression” (ix). The book begins with two essays about Richard Wright, whose interest in the haiku late in life informed his “aesthetic experience through . . . new insight into ego for a state of egolessness with nature” (x). It then addresses, again in two essays, the work of James Emanuel, a poet gifted in fusing the haiku and 298 Mississippi Quarterly jazz with diction based in “African American spoken language and jazz” (x). The following essay examines Etheridge Knight’s use of the form to help him transcend his experience of imprisonment. The next two essays show how Sonia Sanchez’s haiku “cover a wide range of subjects such as blues, love, and human connection with nature” (xii). Finally, attention is given in three essays to Lenard D. Moore, a poet lauded for his “experimentations”(xiv)withattentiontoAfricanAmericanexperiences in the context of traditional haiku. A central concern is how the poets connect with and deviate from the poetics of classical haiku. BashŮ, whose own tinkering with form birthed the haiku, is cited often. Zheng’s “The Japanese Influence on Richard Wright’s Haiku,” for example, mentions elements including but not limited to the kigo (seasonal reference) and sabi (theme of existential loneliness) within Wright’s poems. Claude Wilkinson, in “‘No Square Poet’s Job’: Improvisation in Etheridge Knight’s Haiku,” examines the relevance of the tradition’s sabi to characterize the suffering of African Americans. Toru Kiuchi illustrates in “African American Aesthetic Tradition in Lenard D. Moore’s Haiku” how Moore’s haiku employ the “juxtaposition of images” known as “internal comparison” (153). Moore, as is shown in Ce Rosenow’s “Sequences of Events: African American Communal Narratives in the Haiku of Lenard D. Moore,” also draws on traditional tools such as juxtaposition and the kigo to serve a narrative impulse grounded in African American narrative storytelling tradition. Acknowledging that BashŮ is only one of a collective of haiku masters, Wilkinson shows how the lack of clear kigo in many haiku by Knight is grounded in “the Danrin School of the 1670s and 1680s—poets who were ‘highly conscious’ of the form’s comical tradition” (90). The haiku has always invited homage to formal features as well as cultural adaptations both within Japan and farther afield. The haiku takes on the identity of its writers in tone, voice, and subject matter. Jazz, with its improvisational nature, is mentioned often as...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2689-517X
Print ISSN
0026-637X
Pages
pp. 297-300
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-27
Open Access
No
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