took them by their hands
step by step
across the minefields
von den Soldaten
an der Hand geführt
Schritt für Schritt
über die Minenfelder
© Eva Limbach (Germany) (2016)
The contrast of the freedom of the wind, and the self-made dangers of war (minefields) is stark. I believe Eva is pointing towards how human nature has been separated from the natural world.
The languid pace of the tanka helps us to realize and come to the last line stronger. Though the last line is simple, it is effective and even shocks a reader.
From what I can read from this translation, the language is simple, but each word counts. I think Eva has got to the heart of an important issue without telling too much or explaining too much–which is precisely why poetry like tanka and haiku are so effective.
She truly used the “show, don’t tell” principle in this tanka. An inspiring work.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)