I’d say anyone on the hunt for a romantic gift owes Tyler Knott Gregson a pint or two for making their Christmas shopping infinitely easier this year. The writer’s latest book, All The Words Are Yours, is a collection of moving haikus about love.
Published by Particular Books, it contains an assortment of touching verses, perfectly capturing the heady, addictive sensation of ‘l’amour’. Of course, depending on your attitude towards love and romance, this book will leave you feeling either warm and fuzzy or begging for a sick bucket. Fortunately, I don’t mind a bit of soppy poetry and Gregson is a talented, soul-stirring writer.
He must also be a born romantic. The man has drafted a haiku about love every day for six years. Each of these has been posted online on the day of writing and devoured eagerly by an army of admirers on social media. That’s over two thousand tender haikus, the best of which were collated for All The Words Are Yours.
For those unaware, a haiku is a concise form of Japanese poetry, containing 17 syllables. In English, this is often split into three lines – the first and last must both contain five syllables, while the centre line holds seven. With such rigid rules and an uncompromising need for structure, they’re undoubtedly the Christian Grey of poetry – strict and powerful, with carefully controlled emotion. They’re fifty shades of difficulty for many writers (myself included) but Gregson’s are effortless. His words fall neatly into the exact number of syllables like a regiment of soldiers lining up for a march:
– You are the lantern / In the still dark of this night / You are my beacon.
– Who else would love me / All the crazy inside me / All of this madness?
– Rainfall come to us / Come to wash away this hurt / Come to make us new.
– More than anything / More than every single thing / You above them all.
All The Words Are Yours doesn’t rely solely on Gregson’s poetry to project emotion. The author is a skilled photographer, presenting his haikus in a succession of quirky artworks. Some are jotted onto notes and photographed against different backgrounds, while others are typewritten. My favourites are those presented in everyday situations, such as the haiku cupped in Gregson’s palm, revealing a wrist tattoo with the words: ‘love more.’
I recommend taking your time with the book, although it’s tempting to binge and consume pages quickly due to the short length of each poem. I was halfway through the volume when I decided to pause and read only one haiku per day. I absorbed the author’s sentiments more deeply, as well as the detail in his photography.
Recording every conceivable sentiment about losing your heart to another, All The Words Are Yours is a wonderful reflection of the beauty of being in love. Gregson has successfully captured the breadth of the most engulfing emotion in the briefest of formats.
Book Publisher: Particular Books Release Date: 1st September 2016