a firefly is stuck
in the scarecrow’s eye
© Lucky Triana (Indonesia)
We start with a common kigo, or seasonal reference: new moon. It is crescent shaped, can be a reference to new beginnings, or new enlightenment.
Then we get another subject: a firefly. And for some reason, the firefly is stuck. In haiku, the second line commonly acts as a pivot line that builds suspense, and Lucky does a good job providing anticipation for the third line.
In the third line, we get a shocker. The firefly is stuck in the scarecrow’s eye! A unique, strange, and maybe philosophical image. If a haiku surprise readers, it is often on the right track.
We got two parts: the new moon, and the firefly stuck in the scarecrow’s eye. These two parts make a comparison. This comparison is an indirect simile saying that “the new moon is like a firefly stuck in a scarecrow’s eye.” Each haiku is a new connection (hopefully) between two things, be it a comparison, contrast, or association.
In the context of this haiku, I believe this comparison brings about a sense of life and death. Scarecrows are obviously not alive, but the firefly stuck in the eye of the scarecrow, showing light and moving, gives us a lens through which we can see how the scarecrow might be seen if it was alive. Though it is the misfortune of the firefly to be stuck in the scarecrow’s eye, it partially brings the scarecrow to life.
This might be a metaphor for how we live. Some people believe they had suddenly woke up to reality after years of being in a sleeping state. This enlightenment or self realization sometimes happens at the expense of a misfortune of another person or oneself.
The sound of the haiku is effective as well. The “s” sound in “stuck” and “scarecrow” makes these keywords more prominent. There is also a musical quality to the haiku with the “e” and “o” running through the haiku.
Lucky Triana presented a classic seasonal reference and found a unique comparison for it. A fun, interesting read.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)