Snow - A Book Review (Haiku)


SNOW by Maxence Fermine

A Book Review by Russ Baleson

Yuko Akita had two passions, Haiku and snow.


Just one-hundred beautifully flowing pages, and readable in half-an-hour, I found the entire journey quite magical. SNOW is a poem of dazzling whiteness. A beautiful love story that took me on its emotional journey as if I was listening to music. Wonderful images created out of minimalist prose, delicate and inspiring as the haiku it celebrates.

In the first days of January 1885, despite the wishes of his father, Yuko began his career as a poet. He wrote with only one purpose in mind. To celebrate the beauty of snow. He had found his way. And its beauty would never cease to enchant him.


“What is poetry?” Asked the monk.

“It is a mystery,” answered Yuko.

One morning, a water-jar cracks.

A drop of poetry forms in the mind.

Its beauty touches the soul.

It is the moment of saying what cannot be said,

of making a journey without taking a step.

It is the moment of becoming a poet.

Do not break the silence.

Just watch, and write.

A few words.

Seventeen syllables.

A haiku.


Maxence Fermine's prose is captivating, and his sensuous love story envelops you as it evokes deep emotions consistent with the remarkable story-telling impact of a single haiku. I would highly recommend that like all poetry, it should be read slowly and out loud to allow each word, line, image and emotion to be experienced and savoured.


One morning, something wakes us.

It is time.

Time to withdraw from the world.

Time to look afresh at this life, passing.


The haiku in the book are not the usual 5, 7, 5 syllable pattern. This work is a translation and I assume, and am delighted, that the author chose to maintain the integrity of the poems intact rather than adjust it to fit the traditional format.


A haiku.

A thing of clarity.

Spontaneous, familiar, and with a simple subtle beauty.

To some people, perhaps, they are little.

But for a poetic spirit they were ways toward the divine,

ways to the white light of the angels.


If you enjoy haiku, prose, poetry or a well-crafted love story, then this is for you. I’m sure that like me, you’ll find yourself returning to it for many delightful journeys into the inspirational imagery.

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Comments 3 comments

maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

Russ...Thank you for the insightful and interesting review of a book I must possess...I love the directness and clarity of the haiku form, and I most appreciate translations that remain true to the " essence " of the poetic thought...Like you, I read haiku out loud, usually accompanied by approving sounds from my cat...( He's Siamese, maybe that's why he is drawn to haiku..)...

I assume this 100 page booklet is available on Amazon..?

Good to see you writing again...carpe diem, my friend...Larry


Russ Baleson profile image

Russ Baleson 5 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom Author

Hi Larry, and it's great to hear from you again. What a treat for your cat. It must be wonderful to be read to with passion and enjoyment.

Yes, as I read this book I thought that it's one you must have. It's a joy, unlike any I have read before.

It is available from Amazon. There are a couple of versions as it was originally written in French.

I will be on holiday soon. A week in Cornwall, UK and that's usually where the inspiration moves me to write. Here's hoping.

Go well my friend and thanks again for your comments. Russ


haikutwinkle profile image

haikutwinkle 5 years ago

This is interesting...

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