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Polona Oblak — Touchstone Award for Individual Poems Winner

Polona Oblak is the recipient of a Touchstone Award for Individual Poems published in 2019 for her poem

dappled light
the voice a crow has
for its young

published in The Heron’s Nest XXI:4.

Commentary from the Panel:

“‘Dappled light’, soft and filtered by the protective canopy of trees, feels harmonious with ‘the voice a crow has for its young’ in the nest or, perhaps, on the forest floor during their first excursions out in the world. These sounds seem, to the poet, more intimate than the abrasive caws associated with crows. Was this impression inspired by a naturalist’s familiarity with the family life of corvids? Or by the poet’s fancy? Charmed by the gentle synesthesia — a phenomenon at the heart of poetry — I choose in this instance to simply enjoy the haiku.”

“Crows are a constant feature of haiku and it is hard to write something new on the subject. This haiku is true to the classic features of the form. Yugen has a strong presence. The poem tenderly and elegantly sets the scene on the first line, creating suspension in the second. The beauty of the pivot on the third line reveals a private moment, where we get to see the bird in a different light, and a chance to reflect on the different facets of others.”

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

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. This is a truly beautiful sound and visual.
    The crow does have a particular reputation for being crud, common, and noisy, amongst other things.
    Line one indicates light, what light, sunlight, moonlight?
    Line two resonates strongly for me, as animals have a particular sound which differs from
    the norm when communicating with its young, this can be very tender to hear, even a crow chattering to its young in the nest or encouraging them to take their first steps into the big world.
    At least our feet are on the ground when starting out.
    Taking into consideration the ‘dappled light’ this leaves open the option for interpretation given the corvid’s connection to the underworld.
    Congratulations, Polona.

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