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
crow's inner circle the dark part of my eye — Stephen Toft, Is/let
Hansha Teki cites Hughes’ mythic trickster:
Stephen Toft’s ku hit me as if it were a newly discovered annotation in my copy of Ted Hughes’ 1970 book, Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (Faber & Faber).
Anyone familiar with Hughes’ Crow will know well Crow’s elemental manifestation of all that is blackest in ourselves and the world we have fashioned for ourselves sealing our membership of Crow’s inner circle.
Toft succinctly brings “Crow blacker than ever” and our shadow selves eye to eye.
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!
dark sea surging to the brink of words — Eve Luckring, The Tender Between Ornithopter Press (2018)