Posted in Haiku

Sergiy Kurbatov’s Swallows

so easy to say
farewell to the past —
the swallows in the sky

© Sergiy Kurbatov (Ukraine)

Like it a lot. Maybe without “so” and “the” in line three. Or, a two-liner: saying farewell / those swallows ?

– Steve Woodall (USA)

The article “the” intrigues a little bit. It has two aspects: one is about lingering memories that an individual cannot forget easily. The other may be loneliness that is due to the past.

So, the poet is actually passing through an intense experience where he wants to get rid of his past, but it is not very easy. “The swallows” may indicate their murmuration in the sky that takes many shapes and may trigger some painful memories in this context.

– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

I imagine this haiku taking place at sunset, when the day is coming to a close, and many things have happened. This would put the implied forgiveness of the swallows in context.

It seems the poet is looking at the swallows, and is viewing their happy glidings as if nothing bad happened during the day. From this observation, the poet introspects about how easy it can be to let go of one’s mistakes and others’ transgressions. With the swallows being a spring kigo, or seasonal reference, the poem could be speaking of renewal and refreshment in the face of hard circumstances (the winter that has possibly just passed).

I enjoy the sound of the poem on a musical level. “S” sounds inhabit the lines, and give it a wispy resonance, which are similar to the sounds of a swallow’s feathers going through the air.

In addition, I believe the use of the dash is judicious. It marks the “farewell” appropriately. The pacing of the poem also works well with its mood of introspection.

A strong haiku in terms of meaning, sound, punctuation, and pacing. The poet has written about something local, yet universal.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

What are your thoughts or feelings about this haiku? Let us know in the comments.



Meditator, writer, editor, musician.

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