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Light and Dark Redux

Owing to the Foundation site being down for redesign and overhaul, four randomly selected poems of the December Per Diem collection on the theme of Light & Dark could not be featured as planned. Apologies to the poets. The poems, together with the rest of the collection, will be available shortly in the Per Diem Archive. Meanwhile, here are the missing few:

hoar frost
the dead spider drawn
into a star
—Sheila Windsor

first dawn alone—
the widow eats his half
of the orange
—Alegria Imperial

dappled sunlight
the broad back of the man
picking snowdrops
—Polona Oblak

Epiphany
the unsaid between us
extinguished
—Susan Diridoni

—Stella Pierides
Per Diem Feature Coordinator

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. first dawn alone—
    the widow eats his half
    of the orange
    —Alegria Imperial

    L2 when referring to a man we should use the word widower then one does not have to add the male text to explain the the widow is a man with the word his. With the addition of the word her it adds a little dry but sad humor.

    first dawn alone—
    the widower eats her half
    of the orange
    —Alegria Imperial

    1. Also we could look at it this way.

      first dawn alone—
      the widower saves her half
      of the orange
      —Alegria Imperial

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  3. What a wonderful opportunity to catch the last of the haiku in the series, all together, while the site was down for restructuring.

    *

    hoar frost
    the dead spider drawn
    into a star
    .
    —Sheila Windsor
    Second Prize: The Kamakura Shrine One Verse Competition 2004

    *
    The first line immediately gathers atmosphere even before we get to the striking phrasal part of the haiku.
    Often verbs are eschewed or just an add-on with haiku, as it’s sometimes known as a poetry of nouns, but a well-placed and judged verb can add another layer. Using the verb ‘drawn’ against the backdrop of ‘hoar frost’ makes me think of spidery drawings on bright white drawing paper. While ‘drawn’ in this case means pulled up tight due to death and extreme cold, it plays a double read, at least for this reader. The last line brings in a visual to accompany the strong sensory and visceral touches of the first two lines. So much done with three very short lines.

    *

    first dawn alone—
    the widow eats his half
    of the orange
    —Alegria Imperial

    Again, a good set up first line, and then the confusing, seemingly, second line of a widow and ‘his half’ which at first I thought, “surely this is a mistake?” But of course it means, the widow has lost her husband, possibly quite some time ago. With a good clear informative first line/set up line, the phrase is allowed to power itself along, strengthened, and bringing a stronger resonance.

    *

    dappled sunlight
    the broad back of the man
    picking snowdrops
    —Polona Oblak

    A beautiful first line in itself, the phrase works to bring more depth and layers. This is done initially by the beginning of the phrase part of the haiku ‘the broad back of the man’ where we can imagine ‘dappled sunlight’ playing on him and not around the woodland. The last line has the delightful ‘picking snowdrops’ where we could imagine either a romantic meeting, or perhaps a daily routine of bringing wild flowers to the dinner table, a long established domestic practice. As readers we can be allowed to take either choice or create another one for ourselves.

    *

    Epiphany
    the unsaid between us
    extinguished
    —Susan Diridoni

    An interesting first line as an epiphany is occasionally said to be close to what an English-language haiku feels like to some haiku writers/readers.

    Epiphany

    NOUN
    * the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).
    * a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.

    The middle line ‘the unsaid between us’ could be either positive or negative if relating to a couple and their ongoing relationship with each other. Though the last line, a single word, suggests the light has drastically gone from their romantic world in an abrupt way, or is it? Perhaps this is an early relationship, and the awkwardnesses of first encounters has finally been erased for good reasons.

    But the first line could suggest a religious experience, be it good or bad, in a relationship we have with a spiritual leader. For myself this is a mysterious poem, and just as strong because of that, where I do not always need neat conclusions. A haiku to come back to time and time again, and just appreciate the craft and the openendedness. After all, life isn’t always convenient conclusions.
    *

    Just a few personal thoughts on this remarkable grouping of poems.

    warm regards,

    Alan

  4. Mine is missing its credit:

    hoar frost
    the dead spider drawn
    into a star

    Second Prize: The Kamakura Shrine One Verse Competition 2004

    Thanks and a very Happy New Year to all.

  5. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read such wonderful haiku on the first day of the new year! It’s definitely starting out right 🙂

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