Posted in Haiga

Lucia Fontana’s Sakura

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A beautiful haiga that is well conceived. In Japan, the sakura symbolizes spring or renewal, which means it also brings hope in life when it blooms. In this haiga, the sakura reflects the awakening of meditative thoughts that a person yearns for whilst strolling or walking on a path. It also means the person is contemplating about his/her deep thoughts and is taking some inspiration/motivation from nature.

On the contrary, the feelings may be opposite to what is described above. Maybe fallen or wilted sakura are present, which suggests hopelessness or a change in mood. Maybe a person is oversensitive towards some deep realities of life and relate them to nature.

Overall, the haiga indicates our approach towards different realities of life that can be either positive or negative. However, our deep understanding of those realities makes a lot of difference.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

A very traditional haiga. The image brings us into the spring, when the weather is changing. To me, it brings a change of mood: a beautiful festival, the blooming of  sakura, people finding time in their busy lives to take a breath to admire nature.

I was surprised by the second part of the poem. I would say it brings a more modern feel to it, or a nice twist. It brings us back to the sakura, like a reminder.

Maybe there is a touch of sadness, but the second part says, “Hey, its okay to look at the sakura… it’s still blooming, and it will bloom each spring like many years before.” So, this image keeps us moving forward, and is inspiring.

Laughing Waters (USA)

I like that there are two ways of reading the content of this haiga: “sakura blooming/the silence along the path” or straight through as “sakura blooming the silence along the path.” This is one of the reasons why one-line haiku are ideal for suggesting various interpretations.

In relation to the first interpretation, the silence might be created by the beauty of the sakura, and people viewing them in awe. Also, such elements of nature are often silence-inducing, as they make us witness instead of analyzing. “The path” could pertain to a physical path, or one’s spiritual path. I think the poet is referring to both in this haiku. There is always the harbor of silence along one’s spiritual path that one can tap into through meditation and being one with the present.

If one reads the poem in a straightforward manner, it appears as the sakura are physical manifestations of silence. In fact, most things bloom without us even paying to them. We often take the growth of plants and natural life in general for granted.

I noticed the musicality of the content as well. With prominent “o” and “s” sounds, the reader can feel the relaxing nature of the stroll. And at 7 words, the monoku is quite efficient in conveying its mood and scene.

Yun, the artist, has complemented this haiku with a fine abstract sense. With the surrealistic portrayal of blossoming sakura, the meditative and spiritual haiku is expanded upon. In my opinion, the art might even bring a touch of melancholy to the overall impression.

Lucia is an expert in haiga, and it is no surprise that this haiga works so well. I look forward to see more collections of her haiga online.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Let us know what you think about the haiga and commentary below.

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Posted in Tanka

Pravat Kumar Padhy’s Wave

wave after wave
on an incessant journey
another sunset
when I long to change the taste
of salt, the colour of the wind

Skylark, 2:2 Winter Issue 2014
© Pravat Kumar Padhy (India)

I feel that this tanka is about a hardship that a person is passing through. “Wave after wave” means shifting from one painful event to another, which seem like trials. But, the writer is persistently going through this journey, no matter how much time it takes.

I can also see that the person is fed up with his monotonous life and wants to change his circumstances, and the conditions that surround him.

Spiritually, it describes the endless journey of hardship where one discovers his or her true potential/abilities to change what he or she does not want to see or wish. Both salt and wind are quite significant in spirituality, as both significantly influence the mood and behavior of a person. I can see the person is still not getting on this path, as sunset indicates hopelessness, but also the awakening of hidden powers that can impact our aura. Overall, the writer beautifully disguised both spiritual and social lives in this tanka.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

The feeling I’m overwhelmed with when reading this poem is a sort of breathlessness, with which the author seems to be trying to deal with. Sometimes life runs faster than us, challenging us to cope, to change, to follow the current of it… to me, it’s a poem about a humble human being, absorbed by the pressing and routine of time (incessant journey…. another sunset….) and the wish to feel free from material perception, which can lead to a more spiritual condition… Impermanence here is the red thread that runs through the tanka: of the beauty of nature, of human perceptions. I do feel all the tension to be more than a soul slave of the perceptions of its body, so a wish to go beyond flesh and bones and find peace of mind, an inner thoughtless shining silence.

Lucia Fontana (Italy)

I think the two most important words in this tanka that trigger poetic symbolism and concepts are “journey” and “sunset.” A journey in this context could be one’s life, or a spiritual ascension. “Sunset” could be referencing an end of a period of time in one’s life.

I like the gradual pace of the tanka, and the astonishing, yet simple last line. The pace is reminiscent of the subject at hand. In terms of the last line, I believe the writer is expressing his dissatisfaction with the way things are in his life—even rudimentary things. In a sense, he seems to want to break out of reality.

The format of the tanka is the traditional idea of having the first three lines as short, long, short, and the last two lines being long. The poet uses this format well, and does not make the tanka heavy.

I like the use of “w” sounds in the first and last lines, which mimics the wind. The “s” sounds throughout the tanka can be said to be like the noise of waves. Other than this subjective impression, it makes the poem more musical and magnetizing.

An engaging, efficient, and deeply expressive tanka.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

waves

– Painting by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)

Posted in Haiku

Darko Plažanin’s Storm

after the storm
a boy wiping the sky
from the tables

original Croatian:

nakon oluje
djecak brise nebo
sa stolova

© Darko Plažanin (1957 – 2009) (Croatia)

This reminds me of Issa’s poem:

hey boatman
no pissing on the moon
in the waves

Both Issa’s and Darko’s poem use a similar angle in looking at simple, common moments—an angle which brings out magic, while at the same time telling it as it is.

I tried using that angle too when writing this:

low tide
a child tiptoeing
across the clouds

Lucky Triana (Indonesia)

This has a very continental feel about it for me. I see a pavement cafe with puddles of rain reflecting the sky on the tables and a young kitchen lad out with his cloth busy wiping the sky away ready for customers… quite some scene to paint in so few words.

Rachel Sutcliffe (USA)

This is very lovely. Many stories can be based on this haiku. Line 1 gives a very strong image of cleanness and freshness. Also, that the storm has passed and now sun is coming out and everything is coming back to normal. Line 2 tells us more, with the clever use of “boy.” Can it be a waiter or a son helping mom to set the table for dinner? The most mystery appears in line 3.

This haiku has many layers. One of them brings me sadness, with the action of the boy erasing the sky, giving me the thought of modern times where there is not much space for nature in our lives.

Laughing Waters (USA)

Perhaps we have here an outdoor table (could be a picnic table?) of an establishment where, after a tempest, a puddle or puddles formed on its top. There could also be other debris, dried leaves, or what have you swept from the sky… and now, a helper trying to clean everything out to start a new business day.

Willie Bongcaron (Philippines)

I can easily relate this haiku with people who pass through a tough time in life, as it reflects child labour. The first line ‘after the storm’ indicates bad circumstances in one’s life—maybe poverty. The next two lines are based on the hardship one is passing through to earn money. I can see the dreams of a poor boy who is looking at the reflection of ‘the sky’ and then, wiping it out because his realities and circumstances do not allow him to dream or progress in life. It shows disappointment as well where he cannot find a way to change his fate.

The tables may symbolize the platform, stage, source of earning, etc. In this case, he is trying to remain in reality by doing what he has to do every day. The sky, storm, wiping may also reflect ‘day dreaming’. The poor child can only see ‘the sky’ in the reflection of water on the tables. Overall, it projects the miseries and hardships that a child is passing through due to his circumstances.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

Did you enjoy this poem and commentary? If so, please leave us a note.

clouds-vintage-painting-1532929117AFf

Posted in Haibun

Anna Cates’ Dreamsicles

THE HAPPY GUY

Shopping for orange dreamsicles at Dollar Tree, I found myself in the checkout aisle behind two young men, dressed like handymen. The one closest to me suddenly declared, “I love you!” to the cashier, a large, middle-aged woman with mousy hair.

“He always embarrasses me,” the other guy laughed.

“Why shouldn’t I say something positive?” the man defended himself before turning to me. “I love you!” he said, a sincere smile on his face.

“I love you too,” I replied with a grin.

I left the store with my dreamsicles, thinking how it isn’t every day that two complete strangers look each other in the eye and say, “I love you!”

a daisy’s
yellow joy . . .
warbler trills

© Anna Cates (USA)

It seems the idea of this haibun is to make readers think about themselves and about today’s people. What does it take today to be human? It is very complicated. You smile and a guy thinks, “she is hitting on me.” A man gives you compliments and you begin having wrong ideas.

The prose part in the haibun is very clever and good. In my opinion, this haibun could have two more haiku: one after the description of the cashier, and one more after the guy said I love you to the other guy.

Laughing Waters (USA)

This haibun is versatile in many ways, as I can see various elements of our daily thoughts, the shopping spree, chitchat with people where we exchange smiles, and helping out strangers—the strangers we are connected to strongly for our needs, for our daily requirements.

I liked the way the poet composed the prose in a delightful way, which basically tells us about the dilemma of human beings. We usually bring our conscious filters when someone chats with us unexpectedly in a friendly way. In this era, if people try to connect with each other publicly, it is almost always taken in a suspicious way.

The haiku part of this haibun is well embedded with the emotions of a person who really wants to feel a deep connection with strangers, who are none other than human beings. The soft trilling of a warbler depicts the sincere and lovely feelings of a person that she/he shares through words like ‘I love you!’. But, we perceive it according to our mindsets and in a specific way. Unfortunately, we want to connect with each other as human beings but, we cannot, as we start defining every single gesture, feelings, and words and categorize them according to our set perceptions and experiences. But, deep down, we want the opposite—we want to be heard by others, we want to be accepted unconditionally by others, we want to be connected without any barriers, and we want to be appreciated by others. All this is just a simple wish we want, like a daisy’s yellow joy—the center of it—and in our case, the heart that is the center of joy, that usually fades away due to our thoughts and perceptions.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

I like the realness of this story, and also its uncommon situation. When I read the prose, I could tell right away it was from reality. I have also been in similar circumstances when people in public are goofing off or acting in a unique way that is positive. It gives a certain vibrancy to life.

Besides being able to easily identify with the story, I like the slightly surrealistic haiku accompanying it. It connects nicely with the unusual, but very ordinary occurrence in the story.

Touching upon the technical stuff, the ellipsis works well to illustrate the warbler’s trill. I also enjoy the economy of the language, with the haiku being only six words. The rolling of “l” sounds and “y” sounds make the poem musical as well.

In terms of the prose, I enjoy the descriptions of the people and the naturalness of the dialogue.

A haibun that explores the extraordinary in the ordinary in a delightful way.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you enjoy this haibun and commentary? Please leave us a comment.

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John James Audubon (1785–1851)

Posted in Haiku

Zvonko Petrović’s Sea

the sea …
a boat below
the boat

The First International Ashiya Haiku Festa Award (2000)
© Zvonko Petrović (1925 – 2009) (Croatia)

Very exciting ku. I like how “a boat” plays with “the boat,” and the word “below” echoes with sea, as there are so many treasures below the sea.

Laughing Waters (USA)

While reading this, the soundtrack for the movie “Titanic” was incidentally playing in the background… and is it sheer coincidence? I see here a big boat (as in the Titanic) with small boats attached to it at the side… I see here a multi-story luxury boat or ship where people are classified according to their status in life, the well-to-do at the upper portion (perhaps the suites) of the boat, and the common individuals in the economy section of it. Each individual has a story (or boat) to tell or share, as they all traverse the challenges of life herein symbolized by “the sea.”

Willie Bongcaron (Philippines)

A ‘deep’ haiku, which not only suggests long-lost sunken ships, but could it also refer to the idea of ‘the sea of humanity’ and the following of one generation on another—we all live on the remains of previous civilizations. We travel in the wake of our ancestors by land and by sea.

Martha Magenta (UK)

I read this quite simply: first the vast expanse of sea, then zooming in on a boat bobbing on it’s own reflection… it reminded me of how small and insignificant we all are in the great scheme of things.

Rachel Sutcliffe (UK)

This haiku is simple yet complicated when we interpret the imagery of it. The sea is a specific kind of sea: it may be calm, still, and transparent in this scene. A sea with these characteristics is not more than a mirror where nature can reflect in a better way. Then, a boat below the boat is used very cleverly in this haiku, where the author is relating the sea with a big boat that helps to store many things on it and rescue them as well. The other boat is very small, which shows the humbleness of the person who admires the vastness and depth of sea. This small boat may be the rescue boat, or one where the person sits and ponders different elements of life.

I can also see the sea as our intellect that helps our tiny self (boat) to flourish more and reflect more after passing through various storms and finally gain inner peace more like this sea. I also see the comparison of the large boat and small boat as inner and outer selves respectively, where our outer self reflects the inner inner self if it is well connected with it. The English articles are really meaningful in this haiku, especially ‘the’ that makes this haiku more mysterious and lets our imagination run wild.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

The author begins with the sea, a vast universe of water, letting us in with a sense of immense. It’s also calm and transparent because the author tells us a boat can be noticed on the bottom …

In the ku, there are just five words, of which two are repeated … relaxing and almost mesmerizing the reader.

But when one gives a look at the poem in a more playful way, we can also notice that in the ku itself ‘the boat’ is below ‘a boat’… The haijin is not telling only but also showing it in a visual structure: ‘a boat’ in the second line and ‘the boat’ below, in the line below …

And this is quite funny, humorously talking, because the boat that is below appears in the upper line, not in the line below … A trick I didn’t expect and that intrigued me a lot …

One could also read it in a deeper way, considering the phenomenon of reflection. And one could give attention to consciousness (‘the’ boat) and unconsciousness (‘a’ boat below the boat: the surface where everything is easy to see, and the bottom that one can see, or interpret only in ‘calm waters’ or in tranquility).

Reading the ku in this way, one can perceive the levels of depth as if the poet wanted to show us a truth behind the truth itself … A pleasure to have meditated on it!

Lucia Fontana (Italy)

We hope you liked this haiku and commentary. Please leave us a comment to share any feedback. 

boat-at-sunset

(© Jan Zaremba, with the kind permission of the artist)

Posted in Senryu

Michael Smeer’s Anniversary Dinner

anniversary dinner
i tie together
dad’s shoelaces

AHS Winter Solstice Haiku String 2018
© Michael Smeer (Netherlands)

This week’s poet is the creator of both the “My Haiku Pond” blog and the “My Haiku Pond Academy” group. We recommend these sites as great places of learning and feedback.

Now, let’s get to the commentary:

This heartfelt senryu has two elements due to the choice of words, which provides curiosity to readers.

An anniversary dinner here may be the celebration of a parents’ wedding. So, here I can see this as a matter of deep pain where one spouse is being missed (due to death, separation, or illness). The child may have tried to make this event a special one for the father, who seems to be very old. With a deep emotional state of mind, the son couldn’t figure out how to tie dad’s shoelaces. Shoelaces here symbolize the relationship that is quite messy due to different reasons, and could be a metaphor for the child’s wish to see his parents in a perfect relationship again. Shoelaces tied together indicate confusion, ambiguity, and/or remorseful feelings that may result in a perplexed state of mind and actions.

The other side of this senryu could be full of life, where parents and children are together to enjoy the celebration of an anniversary and play pranks on each other—like shoelaces being tied together in this case.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

In response to Hifsa:

I also interpreted like you, except that I thought (in a lighter vein) that the son tied up both the laces in order to stop his father from running faster.

Arun Sharma (India)

Hifsa nailed this and I can’t seem to add more to what she saidespecially about the possibility of a prank. “I tie together dad’s shoelaces” says it all. If the word “together” was omitted in the phrase, then it would be more open for interpretation. For example, perhaps his dad was too old to tie his own shoelaces and his son did a good deed. Again, it’s still open to the interpretation of a prank as well.

Fractled (USA)

What I see here is the naughtiness of the subject… tying “together dad’s shoelaces” could be construed as tying the laces of the two shoes together.

Perhaps the subject sneaked under the dining table. I see him as specially dressed because of the memorable occasion of an anniversary. And having that devilish grin of a naughty child, proceeded to tie the laces of his father’s two shoes as others enjoyed in partaking in the bounty of an anniversary dinner, perhaps with a huge turkey at the middle of the table and champagne on the side… a special casserole, some cake, and what have you.

Willie Bongcaron (Philippines)

Much has been said about the content, but I would like to touch upon the technical aspects of this senryu.

Senryu commonly don’t have kireji (cutting word), which are represented by punctuation in English. The poet rightly did not insert punctuation due to this.

Also, notice the economy of this poem. It only has seven words, but it has a significant impact on the reader and provides a potent mood.

The format of the lines are not the “traditional” English senryu structure of a short first line, longer second line, and a short third line. However, not only are senryu more free in structure, but it does not matter so much—especially since the economy of the writing is high.

In terms of sound, a musicality is brought into the haiku with a string of “i” letters and may even portray the stress of tying the shoes together. There is a bit of rhyme in the first and second line with “r” sounds, but the strong “r” in the first line and the soft “r” in second line do not make it a heavy rhyme. We generally avoid rhyming in haiku and senryu, but sometimes if it does not push too hard against the reader, it is fine.

An efficient senryu that exudes a strong mood and a keen sense of musicality.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you enjoy the senryu and commentary? Please let us know in the comment section.

Posted in Haiku

Afrânio Peixoto’s Wind

Original in Portuguese:

Sem pedir, o vento
Derruba as flores do chão . . .
Eu nunca ousei.

English version:

without asking, the wind
sheds the flowers on the ground . . .
I never dared

© Afrânio Peixoto (1876 – 1947) (Brazil)

This poem shares the attitude that nature is bold and unpredictable. The wind may relate to mood swings as well, as sometimes rage may take us to a level where we do mistakes and blunders, shedding what we have earned. I think this also shows a specific type of wind that may be manifested as cold, dust storms, heat waves, and toxic material. I also see the helplessness of human beings when it comes to catastrophes where nature ruins its own beauty. “I never dared” is showing the alternative choice that we have being human beings—empathy, compassion, and kindness that influences certain decisions we make in haste.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

This haiku has an anthropomorphic nature. The wind, as an individual, and—without asking—sheds flowers as if it were an action so strong as to need a sort of permission before “rudely” being done … It is rare but not impossible to find this kind of humanization in a ku. When the author says “I never dared,” he shows us more than a shy temperament. He affirms to be not able to stop a flower’s life in an instant, as the wind can do it. He shows a feeling of humility and kindness for Earth’s creatures …

On the other hand, this compassionate poem could be also read as a romantic one, in which I can imagine him strolling with the woman he would like to express his love to and wishing nature to be like Cupid for him in that moment: we usually spread petals or flowers in romantic moments, in relation to a marriage or when there is a genuine, passionate, and true love to celebrate …

Anyways, it has evoked in me more possibilities and, even if it’s quite a long haiku, I personally would rewrite it as 4 lines:

without asking,
the wind sheds the flowers
on the ground . . .
I’ve never dared

It has a good appeal when we let it enter into our thoughts and emotions… It works at the level of the fourth chakra: love, bravery, and compassion are involved here, and we can see how the author gives the wind the task (hard for him) to make the flowers fall to the ground to talk of love to the lady with him….

Lucia Fontana (Italy)

This was written a long time ago, when haiku was barely known to the West. Nonetheless, this particular haiku is similar to what modern haiku poets are writing now in English and in other languages. The majority of Peixoto‘s work could be said to be more haiku-like than haiku, however.

Anyways, I think this poem does what haiku commonly do best: show a connection between humanity and nature. In this case, the poet expresses the power of mother nature, and also its indifference. It could be about admiring nature for its willingness to go through difficult processes, but also at the same be shocked at its ruthlessness. Since nature does not have a mind or emotions, it acts according to the circumstances provided. Humans may hesitate to perform the inevitable, but the natural world has no such pretension.

I don’t speak Portuguese, but I can see a fine sense of sound in the original. With the numerous “r” and “o” letters, the poem is not only musical, but also sounds like the wind. On the side of punctuation, it seems the poet used more than the usual amount that we employ nowadays. Nonetheless, the poet strove for the modern notion of a short first line, a longer second line, and a short third line.

With this haiku and others, Peixoto introduced haiku to Brazil and the West in an auspicious way.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you like the commentary and haiku? If so, please leave us a comment.

paint-2421585_960_720

Art by Silke Lemcke

Posted in Tanka

Jacob Salzer’s Cracked Pillars

cracked pillars
no longer stand
between us . . .
admitting all the times
I’ve been wrong

Ribbons, Spring/Summer, 2018

© Jacob Salzer (USA)

This week, we have a treat, as we have the poet himself giving commentary:

I envisioned cracked pillars from ancient Greece. As you know, a lot of the structures are now in ruins, broken down over time. Some of the pillars that once held heavy tops now stand alone, often cracked—but even those often break down, leaving only a slab of marble or perhaps a pile of stones. The pillars are actually metaphors for the sense of “I” which visually resembles a pillar. The vision was remnants of pillars in a row, and two people standing on each side of them. Basically, all that’s left of the pillars in the tanka are small piles of marble. By admitting my faults, my pillar, or sense of “I,” breaks down and I’m able to fully connect with someone else.

If you enjoyed this poem and commentary, please let us know in the comment section.

386px-Charles_Lyell_-_Pillars_of_Pozzuoli

Art by Charles Lyell

Posted in Haiku

H. F. Noyes’ Morning Stroll

morning stroll–
unshared thoughts float off
with the withered leaves

(The Heron’s Nest, Volume II, Number 10: October, 2000 – Heron´s Nest Award)

© H. F. Noyes (1918 – 2010) (USA)

I have a soft spot for the word “stroll.” It seems perfect for haiku and the leisurely way we write in this genre. Morning strolls are usually done on the weekend, when we have rested well and are relaxed.

However, with “unshared thoughts,” we get a look into the psychological condition of the poet. It implies, in a way, that the poet has thoughts he would either not want to share, or deems not important enough to communicate. Or, it could be that the poet simply did not share them, without any preconceived notion.

When I read “float off,” I resonated with it, in that I often have something similar happen. A thought comes, and soon appears to drift away. Thoughts sometimes are like satellite signals, beeping in and out of existence.

This state where thoughts are more loose can be entered when viewing nature. Seeing nature in its splendor and grandeur can often still our minds. In this instance, the poet connects his thoughts with the withering leaves that are also floating away. “withered leaves” refers to autumn, and this link may imply that the poet believes his thoughts are as useful or important as autumn leaves. The beauty of autumn is not captured here, but rather its deterioration. Additionally, maybe he is inferring that unless and until we share our thoughts, they are as substantial as withered leaves.

In terms of its technical aspects, the punctuation, sound, and layout can be considered. I think the ellipsis is fine as a way to make the reader pause and imagine a morning stroll, but it seems an ellipsis would have been more suitable to fit the mood and action of floating.  When looking at the sound of the haiku, we can notice the usage of “o” sounds to slow down our reading, reflecting the sense of a stroll. The “r”s also keep the pace of the poem leisurely. Speaking of the layout, we have a typical structure for English-language haiku, with a short first line, a longer second line, and a third line.

I like how casual the first line is, and how it is contrasted by the evocative last two lines. A striking haiku in its simplicity and imagery.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

This haiku is either about yearning for certain dreams, or things that bother one the most. The opening line indicates that the person seeks solitude that this autumn morning provides fully. But, certain unshared thoughts still annoy in a way, as there is no one to share them with. It shows the introverted personality of a person who tries to live in solitude, and still enjoys it the most.

Withered leaves in this context symbolises death/ irrelevant thoughts that are still unshared and a mystery. I can also see an element of meditation here, as a morning stroll and withered leaves indicate the deep silence of autumn, departure, solitude, and hibernation. So, the person finds it the best ambiance for pondering deeply and filtering those unshared thoughts—eventually, finding those thoughts more like withered leaves: irrational. Mindfulness is the key here, where the poet cleverly related his ongoing thoughts with the season and finally achieved his goal: inner peace and serenity.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

Did you enjoy the poem and commentary? If so, leave us a comment below. 

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– Ron Frazier

Posted in Haiku

Stefano d’Andrea’s Word

golden grapes —
if only each word
were so sweet

Ephemerae, volume 1, 2018

© Stefano d’Andrea (Italy)

The protagonist in this haiku probably refers to the type of sweet, small tomato known as “golden grapes.” They are loved as snacks in the summer and spring. The poet is from Italy, and I can imagine these in salads, and various other dishes.

Possibly, while eating one of these delicious tomatoes, the poet had a yearning for our words to be just as sweet. Maybe, recently he was engaged in an argument with friends or loved ones, or he saw the banter of politics in the news. Either way, it is a contemplation on the almost-perfection of nature, with each golden grape being consistently pleasing to the taste in the right season. In a way, it recalls a sense of innocence, when we see the world in a more simple and magical way. It could also be an introspection for us to think about what we can change in our behavior, especially in our current political climate.

Getting into the technical stuff like punctuation, layout, and sound, I like the pause given with the em dash in the first line. It gives reader’s time to imagine the golden grapes. In terms of the layout, we have a standard English-language format of a short first line, a longer second line, and a short last line. The pacing of the lines are natural and it reads easily. When looking at the sounds, one cannot skip over the multiple usage of “o.” It is reflective of the shape of the golden grapes. The haiku becomes musical with the repetition of “g” in the first line, and “s” in the third line.

A charming haiku that makes us introspect about human behavior and its relation to nature.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Grapes are golden when it’s the beginning of autumn, after the fructose in them has increased at the height of the summer sun’s exposure.

When the poet says “if only each word were so sweet,” it suggests that maybe somebody has talked in a not-so-kind way to him… There is a sort of subtle sorrow, in which the sadness of a farewell can be perceived… golden grapes, golden times, golden words… Gold has always dealt with the divine, and indeed a divine dimension can be experienced through a sweet dialogue, maybe with a missed love… a regret? A loss? A grief?

Mead, the most ancient alcoholic drink men started to produce, or the nectar of the Gods, is also made from a golden and sweet substance: honey. It was cherished by the Egyptians and ancient Aegean Sea cultures, and something divine is findable in that attribute of grapes too. So, grapes are golden when ready for harvest, ready for making first the must, then to become wine. “In vino veritas” is a Latin phrase that means “in wine there’s the truth.” The poet, an Italian, is probably fond of this extraordinary drink, and maybe he is a sommelier and vine grower. In the haiku, he seems to recall wine and its properties… Maybe words should be always full of truth and sweetness before being pronounced… And probably words should be always chosen after having reached a gentle state of mind before being written or told, especially in a poetic path such as the writer’s.

Anyways, words have a very deep and magical power, and we should prefer silence, which is also golden if words cannot be as golden as Stefano’s grapes in his poem….

A haiku that leads the reader from the sensual dimension (visual, taste) to the comprehension and acceptance of human imperfections through the divine beauty of nature….

Well done,  d’Andrea!

Lucia Fontana (Italy)

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1280px-Farmhouse_in_Provence,_1888,_Vincent_van_Gogh,_NGA

– Vincent van Gogh