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The Moon's Unseen Face
A book of Haiku by Vasile Moldovan
Translated into English by Christian-Mihail
Reviewed by Robert D. Wilson

The haiku in Vasile Moldovan's book of haiku, The Moon's Unseen Face, deeply moved me, leaving an indelible imprint. There is a lyrical quality to his haiku...the old world coupled with the new. Moldovan's is an original voice. His work stands out and will remain long after the reader puts his book down. Few books of poetry have that kind of a hold over a reader.

Too much of what passes for haiku today is passé, saying little, following a tight little pattern. Much is forgettable. Not so with Rumanian poet, Vasile Moldovan. He has written a hauntingly beautiful book of haiku with one theme, the Moon. The moon is one of the most popular subjects for haiku poets. How easy it would have been for the poet to wax trite, to give his readers a window into banality and overused imagery.

Instead, Moldovan gives us fresh insight into the moon, letting us experience it through his eyes, his mindset, his unique way of perceiving the world above and around him. States Radu Carnrci, "The Moon stares at us, not only in its four quarters, but also in dozens of images born in the poet's mind, making us accomplices to his innumerable moods and feelings. Vasile Moldovan enchants us not only by his originality of expression, but also by the purity of lyrical experiences, now, in a time that is avoiding those bitter conditions."

See for yourself. Click here to see ten of his "moon" haiku.

Vasile Moldovan was born on June 20, 1949, in the village of Shopteriu in Romania. He and Florin Vasiliu are cofounders of the Romanian Haiku Society. Moldovan has served as the group's chairperson from 2001 to the present. 

He graduated from the Faculty of Journalism (l975-l979), and he has taken postgraduate courses in journalism and communication science. 

His published books include Via Dolorosa (religious poetry, l998), Fata Nevazuta a Lunii (The Unseen Face of the Moon, a bilingual Romanian-English edition, the English edition by Christian Miehs, 2001), Poemul intr-un vers (The One Line Poem, critical studies, in collaboration with Florin Vasiliu, 2001) and Arca lui Noe (Noah's Ark, a bilingual Romanian-English edition, the English edition by Christian-Mihail Miehs, 2OO3).

In November 2003, he won the Special Award at The International Haiku Contest from Iga Town, Basho's Kensho Kai.


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