marlene mountain
reviews of mm

Cor van den Heuvel:

the old tin roof

'Here was the first haiku poet to use the one-liner extensively and with consistent success. Out of nearly 100 haiku in the book about one-fourth were one-liners, including some of the best in a book that immediately placed Marlene [Mountain] in the front rank of American haiku poets. Its combination of haiku spirit and playfulness, its startling and audacious departures from the 'traditional' three-line form--not only into one-liners but into incredible 'concrete' configurations she calls 'unaloud' haiku--the sheer inventiveness and creative genius that shines from it, all this makes it one of the landmark publications in the history of English language haiku.'

And 'Even after Marlene's book, there was no immediate change, people didn't all start writing one-liners, and hardly anyone could foresee that the one-liner would some day become a basic form in English language haiku. Short forms continued to gain in popularity, but they usually stayed in three lines. Marlene used the term 'minimal haiku' to describe very short haiku whether in one, two or three lines and began to influence the haiku movement through her critical writings as well as by her haiku.

'Though she published more one-liners in increasing numbers in the haiku magazines in the following years, other writers divided up between those who thought a one-liner could not be a haiku at all and those who felt their haiku might occasionally take that form but only as a special case. Marlene [Mountain] was a special case herself--she still is--so no one was going to go out and write a lot of one-liners just because she had. 'Marlene had shown it was possible, however, and her achievements with the one-liner--in tin roof and later--eventually played a major role in getting one-liners accepted as a viable form for haiku.'

from 'John Wills and One-Line Haiku, II: One-Liners.' Frogpond 5:1 1982.
Used by permission

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