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Elinor Pihl Huggett — Touchstone Award for Individual Poems Winner 2018

Elinor Pihl Huggett is a recipient of a Touchstone Award for Individual Poems for 2018 for her poem

crow . . .
the dark crackle
of river ice

It first appeared in Geppo 43.3.

Commentary from the Panel:

“We vividly see the black of the crow, stark against the white winter landscape, and with foreboding, we hear the river ice cracking, can feel the freezing cold water under the ice. We sense the inherent danger of any human or animal trying to cross the river ice in the throes of its melting into a new season. The black crow reminds us of this danger, and of deaths to come.”

“This excellent haiku delivers on multiple levels. Reading the poem for the rollout of its imagery, we ‘see’ the crow (perhaps in flight), then we “hear” the dark crackle of river ice. The juxtaposition creates a synesthetic or cross-modal effect. Listening to the sound of the poem’s words, we notice the repetition of hard c’s and k’s in lines 1 and 2 — now we hear the crow as well as see it, even as we hear and feel the river ice give beneath our feet. The juxtaposition of crow, winter, river, and the danger inherent in falling into all three is indeed ominous. In a moment of sudden terror, we realize once again the inevitable shock of death.”

See the complete list of past winners of both Individual Poem Awards and Distinguished Books Awards in the Touchstone Archives.

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