last snow –
at first sight
Otata, March 2018
© Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo (Netherlands)
This haiku is about the real spirit of winter. The first line may be a reflection of the condition of the narrator, who may be migrating, sick, or reminiscing about past memories in the winter. The images are used very cleverly here by triggering deep feelings and/or passions. The word “melting” also indicates a lot of meaning. In this case, I feel the person has tears in his/her eyes. The person might have an illness, be old, or not have good vision. “Melting” also indicates delusions or illusions that one has in his or her life and the act of slowly revealing the reality.
Overall, I feel the person narrating the poem is in his/her old age and nostalgic about recalling his/her first love that may no longer be with him/her. That’s why he/she is having teary eyes, which creates the illusion of melting snowflakes, or clearing the mind of the loved one. “last” in the first line and “first” in last line is used very wisely, as both indicate stages of life—especially youth and old age.
– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)
This haiku not only points towards the ephemeral nature of existence, but also to the anticlimactic character of expectations. The last snow, in its outpouring, does not even have time to make a showing. It is a state that is not, but somehow it exists. This conundrum is almost Taoist, with its “being non-being” philosophy. Also, commonly what we imagine the conclusion of an event to be is different from what happens. Sometimes, the end of something is so unspectacular that we cannot help but feel a sense of non-closure or emptiness.
In terms of sound, the repetition of “l”, “s,” and “f” letters in the haiku makes it appealing musically, and also poignant. The em dash in the first line shows closure, despite the last two lines contradicting this. This gives more tension to the poem. The format is in the accepted rhythm of short line/longer line/short line, and each word carries weight.
A haiku built on a keen observation with deep poetic significance.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)
It seems this haiku is showing that everything is a circle, and also winter ends and its bitterness has let spring come back again.
This poem carries not only a sense of impermanence, but also of hope. If at the first sight snowflakes melt, then a warm season has surely arrived, but not only as a milder temperature, but also as a new spring for her emotions… Maybe the author, even if she feels all the transience of her life (last snow) has fallen in love (at first sight …. snowflakes melt….), showing there’s no specific age to live in the warm season of the heart, and love…
– Lucia Fontana (Italy)
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