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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
The Big Weird: Haikus in Times of Pandemic and Chaos by Z.J. Czupor is a collection of haiku poems based on how current times have affected people, and how it has made social, cultural, and economic changes. The haiku in the collection will have a calming effect on readers and some of them will bring a smile to their faces. Some of the haiku will even make them find deeper meaning in The Big Weird. A haiku is a short poem and will appeal to readers who enjoy short poems. Over time, this style of Japanese poetry has influenced many poets. Reading these haiku gives a good view of what the poet felt during the lockdown and how he perceived it.
I like the way Z.J. Czupor has managed to use seventeen syllables, though, being a haiku poet myself, I know is not mandatory. I would also term many of the poems in this collection as senryu because haiku poems need to have a seasonal reference, and they can do without upper case and period at the end of each line. All credit goes to the poet for managing to stick to the seventeen syllables that are associated with writing haiku poems and still make them crisp and effective. I like the theme of this collection, that of the pandemic and life during those difficult times, and it is quite refreshing to see the poet's take on everything associated with the pandemic.
All the poems are enjoyable and it would be quite difficult to pick a favorite. The Big Weird gives good insights into the pandemic from the poet's outlook as he mentions everything associated with it through his writings. Some of the haiku in the collection are insightful, some profound, some funny, and some entertaining. Reading this book is also a good way to introduce readers to a new form of poetry.