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
frayed feathers beneath the dogwood tree silence — Mary Kendall, Acorn, 41 (2018)
Radhamani Sarma questions the tree:
As always many thanks for this Haiku Foundation blog, featuring haiku/senryu poems, stirring our creative and critical minds. I am privileged to comment upon the senryu of American poet Mary Kendall.
What are frayed feathers? An uncouth atmosphere prevails around the fallen feathers, shredded from the birds, strewn all around. It could be the natural ageing process.
One question also arises, why has the poet chosen dogwood tree? Why not any other tree?
It could be governed by a contrast: worn feathers are null, silenced by the colorful flowers of the dogwood tree, spreading all around.
The dogwood tree also sheds leaves in autumn upon full growth. So perhaps this senryu pictures dearth and aridity—a sort of eerie silence going down through the dogwood tree, combined with the frayed feathers.
As this week’s winner, Radhamani 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!
beach sand shimmer— her shed clothes she doesn't fold — Michele L. Harvey, Modern Haiku 50:1