Posted in Haiku

Anna Vakar’s Squash Vine

still climbing,
a squash vine in full blossom
this cold day

© Anna Vakar (Canada) (1929 – 2017)
From the book Sisyphus

A very interesting haiku. We all have a purpose in life: plants reach out for the sun, people seek knowledge…. Line one shows a continued movement, so when the next line says “in full blossom” it means that even if the squash vine has reached a high point, it is still seeking for more. And line three makes me think about struggling or the time when life comes to its ending point. This haiku makes me think about being devoted to a constant search, progress. I really enjoyed it. Here’s an inspired haiku:

weathered sunflower
still follows the sun
my shadow

– Laughing Waters (Italy)

So many aspects I love about this haiku. Like a part of a movie scene, this piece contains ‘drama’ by contrasting the cold day and the climbing vine.
The use of the comma enhances the fact that the climbing process hasn’t stopped yet.

To me, the imagery shows perseverance. A piece that lifts up the spirit. It makes me feel good just by reading it.

P. S.
Oops…what have I done? I just found out that a squash vine is a moth! I was imagining a plant…hehehe…aish, me!

– Lucky Triana (Indonesia)

Another perspective can be any type of insect who is waiting for the squash vine to bloom fully. The cold day indicates hibernation, the storage of food, and/or a difficult time for survival. On the contrary, still climbing is a sign of hope, energy, and the will to survive. The squash vine is a symbol of life, as it provides energy one is waiting for.

– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

This haiku has nothing to do with insects, except there are still a few hopeful bees around. These vines are big green Hubbard or winter squashes with gorgeous yellow insides. I grew mine on an arch, and these strong growers still produce beautiful yellow flowers even after the first October chill, despite there being no chance of developing into squashes.

This haiku suggests that even when past child-bearing age, we women are still beautiful!

– Martha Magenta (UK)

It reminds me of people with courage. Even if it’s a dark time in their lives, they continue walking towards the light.

– Lovette Carter (traveler)

This ku reminds me of how we can be flexible and adaptable in the face of adversity. Normally, a squash climbs and shows its full bloom in summer. But then, not all the time in summer… and here we learn that a squash variety can also blossom during the cold months.

Hence, we are shown a special adaptation by a plant to a less favorable climate. And aren’t we all, we as human beings, because of our survival instincts, adapting to changes in our environment; and more, sometimes we really rise to the occasion and shine.

– Willie Bongcaron (Philippines)

I will add some of my perspective on the sound of the haiku. It seems the most powerful sounds in this poem come from the letters “s” and “l,” and they enhance the mood of the haiku in a variety of ways. The “s” sounds bring more emphasis the action of the climbing squash vine and its persistence in cold weather. For me, the “l” sounds lend hope as a reader that the vine will prevail against its odds. In addition, the usage of these letters seems intentional to bring a musicality and charm to the haiku.

Sounds in poetry can mean different things to varying readers. However, this is what my intuition told me while reading this poem.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

What do you think or feel about this haiku? Let us know in the comments.

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Author:

Meditator, writer, editor, musician.

2 thoughts on “Anna Vakar’s Squash Vine

  1. There is, apparently, a pest called a “squash vine borer,” which attacks squash vines. But this haiku is about the plant, not the insect. Lovely to read the various responses to the poem. I particularly appreciate the attention brought to the sounds and musicality. Having read this haiku many times, I’ve been struck, foremost, by the powerful theme (perseverance) that many of you have noted. But the sounds are wonderful . . . so, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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