This cleverly titled book combines two subjects, for the "art" that it describes is not just the art of haiku composition but that of the pictures that frequently accompany the poems, often by the same person. "If haiku is a worldwide phenomenon, haiga (haiku painting) is almost unknown," says the author.

THE ART OF HAIKU: Its History Through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters, by Stephen Addiss. Shambhala, 2012, 338 pp., $24.95 (hardcover)

Stephen Addiss, who is a professor of art, is also a practitioner of traditional ink painting and a haiku poet. He has published a number of books about haiku, including several beautifully illustrated anthologies, besides scholarly work. He selects and translates the poems in these volumes himself, and there is a refreshing individuality about his choices. He knows what he is talking about in his chosen field.