mother’s diary –
between two blank pages
a pressed snowdrop
What struck me initially about this haiku is the relationship between a personal diary and the life of a snowdrop. The diary is supposed to be about the poet’s mother’s life. However, the pressed snowdrop becomes front and center in this haiku. It transforms into a window in the life of a beautiful flower.
Collecting souvenirs in diaries is common. My father used to do it as well. It is a form of stepping outside of yourself and saying to the reader and the diary writer: look at this. Examine it and discover the world that is this.
In the context of the haiku, I feel the poet looks at the diary of his mother after she has passed away and happens upon the snowdrop pressed between the pages. He then sees the snowdrop as the embodiment of his mother: once delightful but now no more. Their bulbous petals and color also suggest to me that the snowdrop is employed here as a metaphor for motherhood. This is another great example of how haiku bridges the human and natural world.
In each line, the soft sounds of “o” are found. This connects to the subject of motherhood and the passing away of a mother. Punctuation is also employed aptly to make the two parts distinct. Without punctuation, the second line could read as a pivot between lines one and three, which would confuse readers. Lastly, snowdrops appear usually in early spring. This seasonal reference (kigo) works well when we think of it in correlation to a mother: pure, beautiful, and comforting to look at and be around.
Overall, a great snapshot that is charged with background emotion.
— Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)
I feel as if I may have read the whole diary through this one haiku. The nostalgic feelings in this haiku show fond memories of a mother. That itself makes this haiku powerful in many ways.
A diary is a collection of day-to-day memories and events where a person sometimes shares very private feelings, and no one will listen to those feelings. The opening line ‘mother’s diary’ perhaps shows the motherhood experiences of a single mother who wants to be listened to by others but can’t
The blank pages may reflect the hesitation, reluctance, or lack of the right expression. It seems the mother wants to share very deep or private feelings but is unable to do so due to various reasons. It also illustrates how visible those feelings are when you go through the blank pages as the writer skillfully connected the blank pages with a snowdrop. A snowdrop that is cold, invisible, and anonymous may indicate tears, deep pain, traumatic feelings, guilt, and/or regrets.
The overall imagery of this haiku may suggest sadness, loneliness, departure, grief, or deep pain that leaves a mother to remain inexpressive and silent.
— Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)
— “Snowdrop” by Clive Nichols