Reviews

A review of Elemental Haiku by Marian Christie, February 2021.

The elements are presented according to their atomic number, beginning with hydrogen, ‘fundamental, essential’, and ending with the hypothetical element 119 which has not yet been synthesised and which, I discover, has the temporary name ununennium. Lee has a magisterial ability to impart facts clearly, concisely and engagingly. In these short poems she succeeds in conveying the distinctive characteristics of each element, their inter-relationships, their applications and their role in history, be it on a human, planetary or cosmic scale.

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A review of Elemental Haiku from Provo City Library, December 2020.

These brief, structured poems present the wonders of the universe in a very accessible and light format as science and art combine beautifully…. A perfect book for reading aloud or just contemplating quietly while you relax, Elemental Haiku would make a great gift for the science nerd in your life.

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A review of The Sign of the Dragon by Ann K. Schwader, June 2020.

What an utterly beautiful, impressive, & occasionally heartbreaking reading experience! Having read Crowned, the first portion of this fantasy novel-in-poems, a few years ago, I was eager to see what the whole novel would be like — and it did not disappoint. In fact, it turned out to be much more than I’d been expecting, both in quality & in scope….

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A review of The Sign of the Dragon by Beth Cato, June 2020.

I love this book. It’s as close to perfect as a book can get, which is saying a lot, especially when I add that this is a novel-sized volume of fantasy poetry that truly reads like a novel….

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A review of Elemental Haiku by Donna Giachetti at Educational Innovations, March 2020.

A few months ago, a colleague at Educational Innovations shared with me a poetry web page he thought I’d enjoy. It was a joyful little corner of the Internet called Elemental Haiku. (Thanks, Ted!) The author, Mary Soon Lee, composed 119 science haiku – a poem for each element in the Periodic Table….

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A review of Elemental Haiku by Esther Santiago at Long River Review, March 2020.

… A few weeks ago, I came across a fascinating book titled Elemental Haiku: Poems to honor the periodic table, three lines at a time by British author Mary Soon Lee. The poetry collection features one poem for each element of the periodic table (a total of 118), and the bottom of the page includes a footnote describing the element, so you learn as you read. The three line poems carry an essence of simplicity, musicality and marvelous imagery….

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A review of Elemental Haiku by Salik Shah at Strange Horizons, February 2020.

Mary Soon Lee’s Elemental Haiku begins with an invocation—a dedication to her guru, her sensei, and to “all teachers whose lessons waken a love of the sciences.” This poetry collection of 120 poems honor the periodic table—each poem a tribute to the elements that make us, our world, and the universe. Lee is perhaps aware that she is writing a sacred text of our times, following the great tradition of the poets of Vedas and Koans. Here is a document of truth—detectable, verifiable—transmuting and changing, pervading the universe. The chart of the periodic table illustrated by Iris Gottlieb looks like a map of the stars, these secret keys seeming to hold the power to unlock the mysteries of the universe—the evolution of life, and the decay that follows mass extinctions.

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A review of Elemental Haiku by The Sciku Project, September 2019

Two thousand and seventeen was an auspicious year for scientific haiku. Chromatin Haiku began the year tweeting DNA and histone haiku in earnest (having posted the first tentative tweets in the last days of 2016). The Sciku Project started in May, collecting examples of science haiku (sciku) from across the research spectrum. On the 4th August 2017 the poet and writer Mary Soon Lee published her collection of poems Elemental Haiku in the journal Science; 119 haiku, one for each element of the periodic table….

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