Chula presents wonderful insight in her haiku. Chula picks up on
everyday life occurrences and turns them into a three-line wonder.
Her writings give the audience a sense of realism because their
main focal point is on everyday happenings, but overlooked events.
A simple episode in life such as a cat in a tree is turned into
a remarkable piece of artwork written on paper. Margaret tends to
exaggerate her style of writing by fooling around with the spacing
and indentations of lines in her haikus. She also uses different
types of punctuation like the exclamation point to emphasize and
dramatize the haiku a little more. Here are some excerpts from her
is like describing our feelings from the inside out. Margaret Chula's
poems are composed of the finest and detailed feelings of all humans.
She shapes translucent images to clarify the outer world known by
our senses. She breathes transparent words to illuminate the inner
world only half-known by our hearts.
Chula's imagescopper leaves, fireflies, spring nestscall
us to let the body's knowledge of its surroundings shine through
into awareness. Her words about being in love and out of love, about
encounters with sorrow and bewilderment and acceptance - challenge
us to light our own lives with honesty." review of Always
Filling, Always Full.
Always Filling Always Full, Chula shows she not only completely
understands the tanka techniques and methods but that she has the
poets ability to take an emotion, give it a parallel in daily
reality, and to lead the reader to feel what she was feeling.
friends tell me
that they are breaking up
I stand at the sink
rinse the cloudy rice over
and over again
that I bought for your return
hangs in my closet
day by day plums ripen
and are picked clean by birds
Lines won the Haiku Society of America's 2000 Merit Book Award.
I am filled with a profound loneliness. An ache, like hunger, an
emptiness as bleak as the landscape. What would it be like to die
here? And then I see them, a flock of snow pigeons flying in formation.
Back and forth they move across the blank sky, then blur into nothingness."
of the mountain
snow, sky, the outlines of birds
Moment: Tea Ceremony Haiku
Chula is a master of spaces and silence."
Time Out, Japan
the tea room
the tea master
and a firefly
powder becomes tea
years of the poet's life in Kyoto are distilled in this extraordinary
collection of haiku. Chula poses as the winner of the Haiku Society
of America's 1994 Merit Book Award."
Chulas first book, Grinding My Ink, showed that she
was adept at writing haiku and knew how to make a stunning collection
of her work. The book opens with grinding the ink in preparation
for painting or writing. Through this meditative process, the artist's
mind begins to empty, allowing space for creativity. The four sections
carry the reader through the cycle of seasons and life-from the
birth of a kitten to a neighbor's suicide. Each season is introduced
by an original fold-out calligraphy brushed in Chinese characters.
a black cat
howls in childbirth
a white kitten
rolls in the dust
of a moth
trapped in a paper lantern
side by side
from our divorced friends
sustained focus. Each section has its special imagery, tones, and
moods. Indeed, this book is a good example of unity in diversity,
a cohesiveness of all elements. Nothing seems extraneous."
Haiku Society of America's Book Award
has the uncommonly keen perception and compositional skills of a
painter or fine photographer, while at the same time working with
the music and implications of language."