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re:Virals 106

Welcome to re:Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s weekly poem commentary feature on some of the finest haiku ever written in English. This week’s poem was

 
     mosquito wings —
     the colour of evening 
     so thin

          — Ajaya Mahala (First Place, Shiki Monthly Kukai, May 2014)
 

Aparna Pathak discusses dusk, the so-called “time between wolf and dog”:

It seems to be a summer evening when the swarm of mosquitoes start coming out from their hideouts. I have experienced their buzz while taking an evening walk.

Here the translucent wings of the mosquito are seen as the evening that is neither clearly day nor night — the evening that gradually surrenders its sustenance.

The changing colours during dusk make the sky really spectacular, but the poet here is not interested in that. He is rather pensive about the thin line of evening that divides the day from night.

I feel that the poet also refers to the indecisive state of mind where it is difficult to come to a conclusion, as things are not clear enough to distinguish. But with a little wait things automatically become clear, as this thin line is not strong enough to sustain.

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As this week’s winner, Aparna gets to choose next week’s poem, which you’ll find below. We invite you to write a commentary to it. It may be as long or short, academic or spontaneous, serious or silly, public or personal as you like. We will select out-takes from the best of these. And the very best will be reproduced in its entirety and take its place as part of the THF Archives. Best of all, the winning commentator gets to choose the next poem for commentary.
Anyone can participate. A new poem will appear each Friday morning. Simply put your commentary in the Contact box by the following Tuesday midnight (Eastern US Time Zone). Please use the subject header “re:Virals” so we know what we’re looking at. We look forward to seeing some of your favorite poems — and finding out why!
 
re:Virals 106:

 
     red plums
     her steady hand slips
     between the bees

          — Ferris Gilli, Heron's Nest, Volume 2, Number 11 (2000) 

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Enjoyed reading Lynne’s commentary. Thank you Alan. We don’t forget few haiku and this is one of those. Every time when I read it , I find a different perspective to look at it.

    1. Thanks for sharing Alan. I hadn’t caught Lynne’s comments from last week in the comments section. Previously the comments section was supposed to be deactivated but I’m trying it out to see if people want to leave extra comments.

  2. Hi!
    Thanks to everyone for engaging in re:Virals, its a real pleasure to edit each week.
    I hope some of you will comment on this week’s selected poem. Please share re:Virals so we can reach more people and keep the dialogue going among the haiku community, and maybe even get comments from people who are new to haiku, but have an interest in poetry.

    Once again, thanks.
    Danny.

  3. Thank you, Alan and Aparna for your fantastic analysis of the haiku and deeper insight given to it. I love this mosquito haiku so much myself !

    In 2014, I won all the four big and small international Kukai, namely, Shiki, Indian, European and the Caribbean. If all these kukai were grand slam events, then Shiki Kukai would be the prestigious Wimbledon among them ! I take this opportunity to thank all the judicious voters of Shiki Kukai for voting the haiku to winning position in May 2014. I participated with great zeal in almost all monthly kukai of the Shiki till its closure. But I could never reach the same height that a “mosquito” had once catapulted me to.

  4. Thank you, Alan and Aparna for your fantastic analysis of the haiku and deeper insight given to it.

    If kukai were grand slam events, then Shiki Kukai would be no less prestigious than the Wimbledon ! take this opportunity to thank all the judicious voters of Shiki for voting the haiku to winning position.

  5. Dear Aparna Pathak,
    .
    Many thanks for commenting on this haiku! 🙂
    .
    .
    mosquito wings —
    the colour of evening
    so thin
    .
    — Ajaya Mahala
    .
    (First Place, Shiki Monthly Kukai, May 2014)
    .
    .
    It’s quite an achievement to win first place with this type of haiku that makes us think a little deeper, as your commentary suggests.
    .
    Having lived in many countries with mozzies, from France, Germany, Australia, Sri Lanka, and India, I don’t always see the wings, just shadows and a buzz (if it’s a male mozzie). 🙂
    .
    The idea of ‘thinness’ is thusly suggested in the first line, and is named in the last line. Yes, the colour of evening is its own thing, separate to day and night, it is its own territory.
    .
    Both things are so thin, the wings, and the delicate evening also, before its descent into night.
    .
    And of course life is so ‘thin’; delicate; and short-lived.
    .
    This might be about the author – a kind of allegory – or about a grandparent in their final leg of the journey.
    .
    The more I read the haiku, the more extraordinary it is, and I am grateful to the Shiki kukai voters, and for it to be chosen here.
    .
    warm regards,
    .
    Alan

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