viernes, 7 de julio de 2017

re:Virals 95 (Commentary for the Haiku Foundation)

Welcome to re:Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s weekly poem commentary feature on some of the finest haiku ever written in English. This week’s poem was

     morning wind
     the library 
     of fallen leaves

          — Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Horizon (Red Moon Press, 2016) 
 Danny Blackwell finds echoes from his own library:
A feature of poetry, often used in haiku, is to take advantage of the ambiguity offered by homophones. A typical example in Japanese poetry would be the frequent wordplay offered by matsu (待つ/松) which can be either the verb to wait, or a pine tree. Fortunately this example ‘englishes’ well, as the word pine is used for both a pine tree and the verb to pine — and it is often in this sense of yearning for the person that the poet is waiting for that it is used. I mention this because I am unable to see a short poem with the word “morning” and not hear, feel, and consider the word “mourning.” I don’t think necessarily that this is intended here, but the reference to fallen leaves would create an apt conjunction, as the wind through dead leaves is potentially a very mournful sound.
As always, every reader refigures the text they are presented with, based on their previous reading, and every reading is potentially new, even for the same person at different times. While I’m not enamoured of the library image in this poem, I am nevertheless reminded of a line from poem 10 of Pablo Neruda’s book 20 Love Poems and A Hopeless Song, which I offer in a rather Latinate translation in order to respect the original syntax:
Cayó el libro que siempre se toma en el crepúsculo.
(Fell the book that is always picked up at twilight.)
And suddenly the idea of fallen leaves and books — in this crepuscular light — intrigues me. And I ask myself, Where do our books go to die?

As this week’s winner, Danny gets to select the next poem, which you’ll find below.

*poem about disappointment but it’s only the word sea.

— Mike Andrelczyk, Is/let, March 6, 2017.


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