under the milky way
© Isabella Kramer
I enjoy the subtlety and epicness of this one. The crows are sleeping, and their various calls cannot be heard any longer, but the nightingale’s echo (not song, but echo of it, which is important to note) still resounds. The nightingale exhibits many sounds while singing, like whistles, trills, and gurgles. And this echo of its song is underneath the expanse of the milky way.
Firstly, as a reader, I can say it is simply an exquisite image. But beyond that, we have a continuation of sound in the nightingale–and at night, when dangerous things are supposed to happen. The nightingale’s song is loud and immensely beautiful, and is a common subject for poetry because of its enamoring song.
Why is it important that it is an echo of the song rather than the song itself? I think because when we look up at the milky way, its distance is clear, but its beauty is still mesmerizing. The same could be said about the echo of a nightingale’s song.
The nightingale as a kigo or seasonal reference is for all seasons. Comparing that reference with the seeming eternity of the Milky Way is poignant.
The colors are also important to mention. The milky way could be said to be white and the crows are black. Though we would associate the night with darkness, the bright milky way and the bright song of the nightingale fill it with a brilliant atmosphere. Readers might ask the question, “Is night really night?” And for that matter, “Is anything really as it is?”
I think Isabella used the “o” sound effectively with the ends of line 1 and line 3 being “crows” and “echo.” Also notice the use of “l” with “sleeping” “milky” and “nightingale” which makes the haiku more musical.
A succinct but grand haiku.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky