the sail swollen
© Francesco Palladino (Italy)
What I enjoy most about this haiku is the mixture of serenity and awe one feels while reading it. With the first line, we have a calm sea (emphasized by the dash). Seeing a calm sea, or a flat sea, is one of the most tranquil things to witness. It puts us into an instant state of meditation.
With the second line, we get a contrast with a sail of a ship being swollen. It is a great use of the word “swollen” and provides alliteration, making the haiku more musical (having a sense of karumi or lightness as well). In addition, the “l” sounds coursing through the haiku make this poem cadenced, much like how a ship goes through the sea. In terms of sound and construction, the poem could be said to illustrate the principle of karumi in its simplicity, grace, and immediacy.
In the third line, we get a surprise that the sail is swollen with light, which gives a fine, awe-inspiring image. The contrast between the calm sea and the epicness of a sail swollen with light gives us a sense of human endeavors among nature’s balance and the ambition of people. Many interpretations can be made, but this is what I feel. Interpretations need not be made in haiku, as well. It also can be seen as a wondrous image that puts us in the moment of the author, thereby providing us with a sense of presence. Often, we forget about the simple joys of perception.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky
Do you enjoy this haiku? If so, please leave a comment.