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About a haiku, from revue "Haiku Reality"
personals [ ]
haiku and lit commentary

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by [Mioriþa Alba ]

2011-12-10  |     | 

BEST OF ISSUE (Second Choice)

Maria Tirenescu, Romania (Rumunija)

O rândunică
spărgând oglinda apei –

A swallow
breaking the river mirror –
the flies

razbija ogledalo reke—

tr. Saša Važić

Tirenescu's haiku is an excellent example of activity- (koto, process) biased haiku that reminds me of Issa, the poet who was the poorest of the poor, and spending most of his time living in the forests and fields of Japan. Living in nature, Issa had an intimate relationship with a nature few understand today in German-based university colonized Japan, the Anglo-West, and Anglo-Oceania.

A swallow 3 syllables
breaking the river mirror – 7 syllables
the flies 2 syllables

A swallow: a living object
breaking: an action verb
the river mirror: an allegory referring to a thinly iced over river/a large living body of liquid air
the flies: several insects (living objects)

Although composed of several objects, haiku is not object- (mono, thing) biased. Tirenescu's poem is based upon the verb: "breaking."

Imagine the poet watching a swallow flying above a thinly iced over river, which looked like a mirror. On the watery mirror are several flies. It's a cold winter, the swallow's hungry, and dives down to catch a bite to eat. Mirrors are mirrors, they are projectors of reflections, and not always accurate in the areas of space and physics.

Instead of gulping a fly, he hits the iced over water. If you or I dove at the speed a swallow dives from the height it was hovering in, we'd either crack the ice and die of hypothermia, kill ourselves, or at least be dazed. I assume the bird, due to its small weight, felt much pain, was greatly dazed, and stumbled off the icy mirror (river) like a drunk.

The last line of Tirenescu's haiku provides the juxtaposition, "the flies." Nature is unpredictable and can be misunderstood, by animals and as well as humankind, most of whom kid themselves into believing they are not animals but guardians of nature. Tell that to the victims of the nuclear holocaust set off in Japan on March 11, 2011.

Maria Tirenescu's haiku is about an activity, a process that can be learned from. zoka, the creative, unpredictable, non-static, ever-changing, creative power of nature that Matsuo Basho told his disciples was essential for a haiku to succeed, should be observed, meditated upon, and allowed to teach. I appreciate her using a break (pause) --- after "mirror" at the end of line two, the dashes substituting for the Japanese cutting word . . . a style that generates ma (dreaming room).--Robert D. Wilson

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