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Chicago Haiku: Presented In Four Seasons by Greg Christensen

December 26, 2012


This is a totally charming, self-published book by one of my good buddies. The first two pages give an overview of the Haiku—5-7-5 structure, typically with a reference to the weather in the first or last line. This second point is what makes the Haiku an ideal compliment for Chicago. One can hardly speak a few sentences about Chicago without mentioning the weather.

What follows are a year’s worth of Haiku by an amateur poet—and I mean “amateur” in the best way possible. Greg writes with a light pen. He doesn’t take his form so seriously that he is above a quick joke or simple observation. Each poem is a snapshot that captures some truth about the city—about the weather, the architecture, the homeless, the tourists, the sports teams. Some of them you won’t understand unless you’ve lived in Chicago. Others are more universal. Here are a few of my favorites:

The ironing board

Sentinel of this brownstone

And my parking spot


Everyone here knows

It’s not the Windy City

Just cause it’s blowing


This is the Cubs’ year

Even when we don’t believe

We find a way to


Fat man on the “L”

Reading How to Win Friends and

Influence People


Since I left Chicago, I’ve never really had much urge to move back. But this collection made me feel genuinely nostalgic for certain aspects of the windy city.

Greg’s poems are accompanied by photos by Mitch Gordon. If you’d like to order a copy of the book, you can do so here.

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