A collection of classic haiku accompanied by original music and lush seasonal backdrops.
Modjeski has assembled more than 150 Japanese poems written over centuries by haiku masters, including Basho, Shiki and Issa—to name only a few. The overall presentation is both lovely and in keeping with the spirit of the ancient Japanese art form, as the soft, muted illustrations and the mesmerizing score encourage readers to linger over verses and ponder their meaning. “Each Haiku,” says Vickerman in the foreword, “is dedicated to freezing a particular moment in time, like a miniature word photograph.” The app opens to a table-of-contents wheel that has no beginning or end and can be dialed to various “chiming” points on the circular spectrum. Once launched, the background image is static in composition, meaning the basic scene never changes (except that tilting the screen will change the orientation.) However, with each swipe of the text box, more poems appear, and the seasons not only change, but the music and sounds do as well. Stormy skies give way to brilliant sunsets and gently falling snow. The tree loses its leaves and later buds again. There’s very little interaction, which seems fitting for this meditative offering; the beauty lies in its simple invitation to tune in to the wondrous sights and sounds that regularly surround us.
A breath of fresh air. (iPad poetry app. 10 & up)