Lucia Fontana’s Gongs

little gongs
awakening me . . .

original in Italian:

piccoli gongs
un canto d’uccelli

© Lucia Fontana (Italy)

(Honorable Mention, IHPD Contest by My Haiku Pond, April 17th, 2018)

This haiku gives me a nice reference to the morning and the way mornings are beautiful because of bird songs. Little gongs awakening me… I can feel this in two different ways: the physical awakening in the morning and the other is the mental awakening of the soul.

– Neha Talreja (India)

When we are waking up, reality can feel a bit blurred or altered. Our dreams can seep into our waken state and also we can feel disoriented. I think this may have been a part of what the poet was expressing. Birdsong usually does not sound like a gong being struck, but it may appear that way when you first wake up.

I think this haiku shows a connection between nature and spirituality as well. Though most people who are religious get beckoned to a church through the tolling of bells, to a mosque through a vocal recitation of the Quran, and what follows in each religion, the poet here possibly sees birds as messengers of a spiritual message. The word “awakening” can also mean becoming enlightened in some way. So, maybe the poet is saying that she heard birdsong and felt transcended after listening to it. This haiku could be pointing to the fact that we don’t need these human-made religions in order to feel the depth of spirituality—all of nature can be our divine sanctuary.

It seems the most evident pairing of sounds in this haiku is in “gongs” and “birdsong.” The “o” sound creates the impression of a gong’s elongated resonance. The “g”s in this haiku could be simulating a mallet hitting a gong with its hard sound. In addition, the ellipsis also helps to give the feeling of the long-lasting toll of a gong.

A spiritual haiku that mixes the abstract with reality.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

In spring, baby sparrows chirp with a high tone, but it seems “gong” is another sound. It’s like the sound of the rising sun. Or, “gong” could be the headache of the poet when she wakes up. So, this “gong” may not only be a sound, but also an impression.

– Norie Umeda (Japan)

Did you enjoy this haiku and the commentary? Let us know in the comment section.

© Faryn Hughes

5 thoughts on “Lucia Fontana’s Gongs

  1. Mark Gilbert

    I think the use of ‘awakening’ rather than ‘waking’ in the English version brings ambiguity and suggests the spiritual dimension (I’m not sure about the Italian version). Also the ellipsis hints at three spaced out strikes of the gong. Line 2 is a nice pivot line.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: A haiku by Lucia Fontana — little gongs — on Nicholas Klacsanzky’s blog, Haiku Commentary, translatated into italian by Luca Cenisi

  3. I liked everyone’s comments, and felt everyone of them in your haiku Lucia. I further sensed, in another read because of its soft pleasant tone, that a lovely child is tapping something like a xylophone, with that little drumstick, and entering the mother’s bedroom – lovely itself, as the child seeks her mother’s attention, and affection, seeks their togetherness, and is using something lovely, like music, as an offering – enters the room, the window slightly open for spring air, the child’s soft, lovely, little, voice in song. Although, it doesn’t have to be in song, the song itself is perhaps the mother’s inner connection to the child, her spirit harmonizing with the little endearments the child might be saying, to be “near” her mother before she is near her mother, full of anticipation while she fills her mother with inspiration… and, or, a bird of spring is singing outside, which, puts all three lives into harmony, along with the spring air in the curtains… and certainly, judging by the very spiritual overtones of this haiku, awakening was the exact word chosen, opposed to wakening…just as the belly of the earth is “om” to those who have heard her, the mother is reminded of the great importance of being “momma” to the child…and, as the poem suggests, they share an elated embrace… bird singing away outside the window.. very lovely poem Lucia, filled with many layers, very suggestive too, for all the intimate language!


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