Posted by: tsopr | October 13, 2009

“The Awakened One Poetics” by Joseph S. Spence, Sr

The Awakened One Poetics
By Joseph S. Spence, Sr

The Awakened One Poetics by Joseph S. Spence, Sr Book Details:

Paperback: 173 pages
Publisher: Rochak Publishing; 1 edition (August 25, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 8190381245
ISBN-13: 978-8190381246
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches

Book Review:

The Awakened One Poetics is the latest work of award winning American poet Joseph S. Spence, Sr.  He is a college faculty member, a military veteran, and a Goodwill Ambassador for the state of Arkansas, USA.  He’s published in different forums, including the World Haiku Association; Poetinis Druskininku, Milwaukee Area College, Phoenix Magazine; Möbius Poetry, and Taj Mahal Review to list a few.

His new poetry collection The Awakened One Poetics is a book of Haiku with several inspiring themes and imageries that will delight his reader’s imagination with his touch of wit, and with captivating art works / Haiga that will invite his reader into the conversation, published in seven languages, and it is divided into five sections: Section 1) Beautiful Smiles from Japan, Poland and China; Section 2) Enchanting Smiles in Japanese, Spanish, Polish and Chinese; Section 3) Captivating Smiles from Egypt, Poland and China; Section 4) Elevating Smiles in French, Polish and Chinese; Section 5) Radiating Smiles in Patwa, Polish and Chinese.

Of course, you don’t need to be a poet, or a Haijin, to appreciate his book. Indeed, the book’s most important feature is a glossary of literary terms, which I found very useful for the reader, so I may say, as a prime presentation to the tone of The Awakened One Poetics.

In this book, poet Spence Sr. discusses his life experiences, belief, religion, and as well as his own reflection with outstanding amount of curiosity and soundness. He extracts feelings / emotions from the reader through his brilliant use of imageries and a smart choice of words. His extraordinary skill for wangling the English language is readily seen in his opening muse “Amazing Grace“, on page 2-3, a write of such pure delight, and in certainty, a breath of new hope as his poem begins:

The soul whom the Son sets free
is free indeed,
Unlocking the rusting shackles

If Basho is the world’s great Haijin and influencer of Haiku, Spence Sr. is the best student that I’ve ever encountered among the many contemporary poets studying / exploring the elegance of this poetry form. His Haiku collection, The Awakened One Poetics, features amazing poems…that wowed me. I manually copied some of them for this blog’s readers to enjoy. In many of his writings presented in this book, he helps his reader to meditate.

On page 10

Space for gardens to grow
Flower in a rock

On page 31

Thin autumn fogs
dim light flickering ahead
fire warms man’s hands

On page 154

Moments with God
require right awareness
not fantasy

The author not only meditates on this short poetic form, but through his personal experiences that he gained from his world travels he also offers the reader of his book a means of healing. And, once you’ve finished reading this book, surely, you will depart from it with this thought in mind: Haiku can heal!

On page 69

Birds on lake
Creatively flow with waves
Buddha’s unity

On page 130

All worldly things pass
Sutra guides us—let it go…
Look to a new dawn

Likewise, noticeable in the entire collection are his poems about delicious food, for which he is widely known as the founding father or master of Epulaeryu, as I and his peers have come to know and learn this poetic form. There’s no one, but him, who brought to the poetry world this new poetry form, Epulaeryu, as an undeniable piece of written art, as seen in his poem “Coffee Perk“, on page 110.

Awakened to coffee drips
Fragrance for my taste
Sweet aroma filled this place
Ready for my dose
Like the Holy Ghost
Touch my lips—

The Awakened One Poetics features over one hundred well thought Haiku poems in English, with translation in seven languages: Japanese, Polish, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, French and Jumeikan Patwa, giving the non-English speaking readers the chance to enjoy his Haiku, and also a number of non-Haiku poems that will comfort your soul.

To those who seek reading pleasure with the aim of uplifting the mind, body and soul, I highly recommend The Awakened One Poetics for it is a book of wonders published with aim to promote one mission: to provide a positive, nice view of life and our surroundings. This rich poetry book of optimism will sure does wonder to you, believe me! I am happy to have a copy of it. What a superb addition to my library! –tsopr editor-

Note: Here, I apologized to the Author for I’ve not able to maintain the poems’ format as laid out in his book.



  1. Wonderful book review posted on ‘The Awakened One Poetics’ Poetry Book featuring the Haiku form of poetry. Mr. Spence, Sr. is an excellent poet with sincere feeling displayed in his work, that sets forth amazing charm. Congratulations on this new publication. Bravo to the Editor for posting this descriptive comment for all to read.

    Rhoda Galgiani, Poet, LI, NY
    ‘Expressions Poetry Journal’

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