the cat's cradle
the Eiffel Tower too
Winter as the kigo, in any language, is of utmost importance, in this case. The "cat's cradle" implies the long hours of nothing to do but wrap string around fingers and learn new moves. The kids are indoors ... not a lot to do (at least when I was a kid ) and in hunting for something to do, the strings came out. In Spring, kids were out playing ... getting free from the indoor blues. Their energy was high and different than in Winter. Not all locations are the same however ie: Bahamas (is there a winter?)
... but for those in a rough winter area, L3 will ring much louder as Winter than any other time of the year. When I was in Wyoming, as a kid, we literally could not go outside for days and longer. It was horrible weather. My brother and I would end up nagging at each other or playing games! Strings was one of them ... even for boys!
While the word "winter" alone might not surface all of the aspects the Japanese poets would reflect on, it does, especially combined with L1/2, absolutely reach deep into the memories and feelings of folks who were of the generation that played strings instead of video games.
For me, winter combined with the other factors in this poem, will resonate wonderfully in any language.
Three operative words (or sets of) in this poem: cat's cradle (game and shape); Eiffel Tower (and the implication of its shapes, location and weather); and winter. Combined, they resonate together in a vibrant and effective way ... in English. I don't speak Japanese, so I'm not sure what else someone of their culture would receive from this haiku. It does seem that the poet was reminded of all of this when he was visiting the Eiffel Tower or possibly after seeing a picture of it etc. Something sent his mind into the journey of the game.
This reminds me of an old comment I made off the cuff when describing the activity of the fragment and phrase: when you wave one hand in the air, not much sound; when you wave the other, not much sound; when you wave them both and bang in the middle, the sound of a clap! The fragment and phrase here inspire many thoughts and memories for me - the clap! ... a third aspect created by the two being combined.
Thanks for sharing, Jim.