a crow feeds
while the bough floats
Haiku about crows always brings mystery to me. I start relating them to certain deep realities of life. A crow can symbolize intelligence, flexibility, and destiny in certain cultures, whilst bad luck and death in others. For me, a crow is a symbol of wisdom and survival that keeps on knocking on the doors of our mind and heart to awaken and understand the depth of life.
The tiny wings, as I understand, is the beginning of new life that needs energy and enthusiasm to keep going and to face the harsh realities of life.
In terms of the bough that floats on the water, I think it signifies the survival of the fittest in the tidal waves of life, but it is the crow that leads us to overcome our weaknesses and to handle it with strength and wisdom.
This haiku is the combination of nature and nurture where wisdom, realities, and trials are beautifully described with the help of the elements of nature.
– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)
The first thing that struck me about this haiku is that it is written essentially as one part. Haiku often do not work well as one part, but there is a whole history of masterful haiku that do. In Japanese, these type of haiku are called “ichibutsu jitate” (物仕立て).
Because the imagery is so stark, the poem is carried by it and the resonance is strong. The care the mother crow is giving her chicks (“tiny wings”), while the wind or water tosses the bough that they are on, is extraordinary. It is a lesson in focus and concern. It also lends to the image of life’s precariousness and that at any moment, something can go wrong. But in the face of this, the mother crow supplies nourishment to her chicks.
Despite the haiku being one phrase, the line breaks allow readers to take in the image well. Also, the sound of the poem is rich with the letters w and o. I would say the “w” sounds supply a sense of lightness that is inherent in the imagery, whereas the “o” sounds slow down the scene for us and reflects being in awe of the moment that is captured in the haiku.
Overall, with a unique structure, stark imagery, and a fine sense of sound, this haiku conveys showing care through the obstacles of our lives.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)
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– Painting by Koson Ohara