after the storm—
among the blossoms
– Florin Golban (România)
International Honourable mention, Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2019
In general, storms cause chaos. There’s no specification of storm in this haiku, which makes it more open for discussion. But, every storm interrupts our daily routine, especially the recreational. The same goes for a difficult time, which puts all activities on halt.
Hopscotch is the resumption of a happy or carefree time that one has after a difficult time, where they enjoy playing it among nature. The blossoms indicate that life is in full bloom where there’s no tension or chaos. It’s more like back to normal where a person enjoys all their favourite activities, especially outdoor ones.
It also depicts resilience that one develops over a period of time.
– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)
The em dash in the first line allows us as readers to take in what happened from the devastation by the storm. In this case, the poet focuses on the blossoms strewn on the street or sidewalk. Fallen blossoms, especially of the cherry variety, are highly beautiful and evocative.
The act of playing hopscotch among the blossoms can represent several things:
1. Playing in the midst of destruction or the loss of something beautiful.
2. That we should not pay attention to the chaos around us and remain positive.
3. We should be connected to nature. Nature is a part of our everyday life.
4. And more…
The feeling this haiku gives me is mixed: happiness and sorrow. Happiness for the play and sorrow for the destruction. But great haiku often have layered and/or complex feelings behind them.
In terms of the sound, the prominent letter is “o.” It slows down the reading and makes the moment being portrayed seem longer. The use of “o” is balanced enough to not be intrusive and gives music to the poem.
The length of each line is relatively the same, which is fine. Usually, the second line is the longest in a haiku, but no harm done. Besides, there are no hard and fast rules for haiku.
I think this spring haiku brings out a sense of joy and melancholy simultaneously with great effectiveness.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)
Painting by Fatma Arargi (1954)