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
spring rain rereading my own book I fall asleep — William J. Higginson
Cezar Ciobika finds fall in the spring rainfall:
A wonderful ku that draws you through the subtle game of life and death.
Spring means regeneration, revival, vitality, hope, while the falling into sleep can be understood as a corridor, a passage that delicately moves the reader to death. In addition, in English, fall can also mean autumn too, the season of harvest, but, in the same time, one of the end.
The rain symbolizes fertility, confidence in new crops, but if it’s about ceaseless rainfall or flood generated by the snow melt, we can speculate that one can feel among lines the fear about the end and it can lead you to the biblical flood of Noah’s time.
Very suggestive in this sense is the alliteration of ‘’r’’ which, like a subliminal mantra, provides our minds with a monotone melody that simply hypnotizes everyone (narrator, author, reader) sending him/them, why not, to the realm of Morpheus.
‘’My own book’’ can be seen as the last reading of what he has created or maybe a review of what he has lived. Finally, the author, content of what he created and having a ”valid passport”, can leave (=pass away). He did not live in vain; he may leave something precious behind because he has seriously multiplied the talents left by God.
And how beautiful in the last verse the game that makes this time another liquid consonant,”l”. This simply suggests the noiseless slipping into the world beyond. The WORK goes on.
As this week’s winner, Cezar 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!
plum blossoms I make plans for my ashes — Carolyn Hall, The 2006 Spiess Memorial Contest, First Prize