Jacob Salzer’s Sound

how many
become one
sound of rain

Frogpond 38:3, and VerseWrights 2016

© Jacob Salzer (USA)

Though this haiku has only seven words, there are at least three readings of it.

One is the haiku acting as a question. It can be read as two different questions: “how many become one sound of rain?” or “how many become one? sound of rain.” They have a drastically different meaning, but lead us to introspection and imagination.

Another reading involves metaphor. Jacob is saying, “this is how many becomes one: the sound of rain.”

In these readings, it is important to note that the poet says the sound of rain instead of rain itself. It is the aftereffect of the rain that is the focus. What is the aftereffect of our actions? Do we become one as a humanity through the aftereffect of our actions?

Now let’s turn to the sound. The “o” sound is the most prominent sound in the haiku, imitating, I believe, the song of far-off rain. The “a” sound of “many” and “rain” emphasize these two words, bringing more importance to them.

Though there are many readings of this haiku, I believe by the mood it conveys, it is a sober message of paying attention to the wonder of how many can become one, even though each individual has his or her own trajectory. What we leave behind with our actions can create unity in a fragmented world.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

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