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
è già mattino — a pioggia bussa ai vetri con cento dita it’s morning — rain knocks to the window with one hundred fingers — Lucia Cardillo, Otata 22 (2017)
Hansha Teki sees rain as a possible intruder:
Not having experienced the seasons in Italy, I imagine here an abrupt awakening on a morning in late summer. The first line conveys startled surprise (it’s [already] morning), but it is not clear whether there is a sense of relief or annoyance. Has the summer been too long, hot, and dry? Has the night’s sleep been too short? Is the rain tapping against the glass, “with one hundred fingers,” the poet’s ‘man from Porlock’ or is it the good news awaited with so much anticipation?
The rain seems driven against the glass by wind, marking a new morning — the end of a period of drought perhaps.
As this week’s winner, Hansha 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!
猪がきて空気を食べる春の峠 a wild boar comes and eats air spring mountain path — Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku With Notes and Commentary Part 2:1961-2012, translated by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (Red Moon Press, 2012)