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Per Diem for March 2019: A Taste of Melancholy

This month, Sandi Pray takes us on a journey into the gloomy world of melancholy – that feeling of insidious sadness with no obvious cause. Sometimes in our lives, we are caught up in feelings of sorrow for no reason. They can be triggered by a memory, a piece of music, a period of isolation, or just a feeling. Whatever causes it, it is part of being human, and Pray presents a collection that gives us pause to reflect on our own lives as well as the lives, and doldrums, of others.


the taste of melancholy . . .


‘A feeling of thoughtful sadness.’

– Princeton University


on a bare branch

a crow is perched

autumn evening

– Matsuo Basho


Who among us has not had these moments – the aftertaste of loss, loneliness, illness, aging, regret or a night bird’s cry? Haiku has given us a way to touch, to see, to feel, to taste the thought of sadness with very few words.

Throughout history poets, like the ones showcased in this month’s per diem, have helped us know that alone . . we are not alone. I hope you enjoy the collection.

– Sandi Pray

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I just stumbled onto this and I like the mood today’s poem evokes:

    charred cedars
    how cold the white
    of early snow

    – Ron C Moss

    It will be great to read on the theme, one poem at a time, each day. Thank you Sandy

  2. perfect; there’s a touch of it in everyday ( well personally speaking anyway )

  3. night train

    a window screams
    out of an owl
    Alan Summers
    Publication credits:
    Bones – journal for contemporary haiku no. 14 November 15th 2017
    Gwdihŵ haiku sequence (Wales Haiku Journal issue one Spring 2018

    This is as much influenced by Munch’s scream as by the strong symbolism of owls, and night-time train journeys, and that special in-betweenness, between light and deeper melancholy:
    “The Scream” by Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch in 1893:

    1. Dear esteemed poet,
      Warm greetings! I had the privilege of going the link suggested by you;
      any number of times one gets the chance to read the great review, delving into the writer’s potential, the themes chosen by him, and more on David Jacobs, thus :

      “We are deeply privileged to be able to navigate the inner landscape of David Jacobs’ seasons, and it’s why experiential haiku at its most honest stands high on my list”.


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