Plastic Surgery Haiku? Yes Please

yes pleaseRecently I read Yes Please, the autobiography of Amy Poehler, star of Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation.

Amy Poehler’s memoir is described as “A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haiku from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers (…)” (jacket)

Haiku? Yes, haiku!

The media made a big deal out of the Plastic Surgery Haiku that appear in the book. Although they occupy only two pages out of 329 pages memoir, the haiku written in 5-7-5 syllables were mentioned in pretty much all the book reviews:

Plastic surgery

Requires a good amount

Of lying to friends

— Amy Poehler

I have to admit the haiku do stand out, with their red text over black pages.

The book is printed in full colors, which is really rare in the publishing industry because of the high cost of color printing, but color was necessary as the book includes not only photos but also many memorabilia (such as those you would usually find in a scrapbook) which are spread throughout the book: handwritten notes from high school notebooks, school report card, lists, tips, poems, e-mails, and photos from her career at improv, SNL, and Parks and Recreation and, of course, two pages of haiku!

Hey, shooting poison

In your face does not keep you

From turning fifty

— Amy Poehler

I have to say I was more intrigued by the memorabilia – lists, e-mails, and the haiku – than the storytelling chapters themselves. This book seems to cater to the multitasking, easily distracted mind of the 21st century reader who likes to skim more than they like to read.

I especially enjoyed the big, bold, colourful quotes that preceded each chapter. Spread over two pages, these quotes resembled internet meme:

Short people do not like to be picked up.

I wonder if that’s what the book of the future would look like: a gathering of memorabilia, quotes, haiku, and lists that would catch your attention, like any shiny thing on the internet, and four-page chapters that nobody would read because the haiku were the best part anyway AND the only thing people will remember and quote from your book.

Congratulations to Amy Poehler for achieving Haiku Stardom.


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