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
mosquito wings — the colour of evening so thin — Ajaya Mahala (First Place, Shiki Monthly Kukai, May 2014)
Aparna Pathak discusses dusk, the so-called “time between wolf and dog”:
It seems to be a summer evening when the swarm of mosquitoes start coming out from their hideouts. I have experienced their buzz while taking an evening walk.
Here the translucent wings of the mosquito are seen as the evening that is neither clearly day nor night — the evening that gradually surrenders its sustenance.
The changing colours during dusk make the sky really spectacular, but the poet here is not interested in that. He is rather pensive about the thin line of evening that divides the day from night.
I feel that the poet also refers to the indecisive state of mind where it is difficult to come to a conclusion, as things are not clear enough to distinguish. But with a little wait things automatically become clear, as this thin line is not strong enough to sustain.
As this week’s winner, Aparna gets to choose next week’s poem, which you’ll find below. We invite you to write a commentary to it. It may be as long or short, academic or spontaneous, serious or silly, public or personal as you like. We will select out-takes from the best of these. And the very best will be reproduced in its entirety and take its place as part of the THF Archives. Best of all, the winning commentator gets to choose the next poem for commentary.
Anyone can participate. A new poem will appear each Friday morning. Simply put your commentary in the Contact box by the following Tuesday midnight (Eastern US Time Zone). Please use the subject header “re:Virals” so we know what we’re looking at. We look forward to seeing some of your favorite poems — and finding out why!
red plums her steady hand slips between the bees — Ferris Gilli, Heron's Nest, Volume 2, Number 11 (2000)