Posted in Haiku

Eva Limbach’s Battlefields

It is not often that I get teary-eyed while reading haiku. Haiku are no doubt emotional poems sometimes, but their objectivity and lack of overtly poetic language sometimes hides emotions in the depths of a reading.

dandelion fluff
the battlefields
so far away

© Eva Limbach (Germany)

But with reading Eva’s haiku, I immediately felt the emotional impact. It was kind of inexplicable, but I will try to write about it. Maybe it was the motion of the dandelion fluff floating through the air in my imagination and how it relates to the seemingly frivolous nature of soldier’s lives. Or maybe how we can only watch the terror of war from a distance, and the dandelions represent a visual of the souls that may be leaving the bodies of the fallen. Or even the feeling of helplessness of knowing that we can’t do anything to stop wars from occurring.

Dandelion fluff is at once beautiful and unimportant. Maybe Eva is showing how heroes of war are at once magnificent examples of human honor and courage, while also being given to the jaws of death without much remorse for a questionable end. By the mood of the haiku, I feel it is expressing how we do not respect the lives of those who gave their lives for principles.

But whatever the exact meaning is, it may not matter. Drawing an inexplicable feeling from a reader is a sign of a true haiku. If one can explain a haiku easily, most classical masters of haiku would say that it would be not be a true haiku.

On another note, the pacing of the lines bring out the emotion of the haiku, as does the sound of the haiku. It can read easily and each line seems to carry a certain gravity. The word “dandelions” and “battlefields” work strongly together in sound, and so do “fluff” and “far.” Part of the magic of such a small poem is that it leaves an awe-inspiring effect on the reader. With this added sense of sound, the haiku becomes more enchanting, despite its grim message.

The word “so” works to bring out the emotion. Though this word is often advised not to use, it works well, as the lack of words makes the emotion much sharper.

I think Eva got at the heart of haiku with this one: compassion through perspective. She reminds us of events that are happening each day, but of which we often forget, and sometimes entirely bypass.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)



Meditator, writer, editor, musician.

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