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re:Virals 12

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

     lough sunlight
     this desire to walk
     on water
          — Marion Clarke, Under the Basho 
          Carousel Summer Haiku Competition (First Prize, 2014)

This retelling of the miracle story in personal and poetic terms prompted Ellen Olinger to write:

Congratulations to Marion for her lovely poem. I remembered a Bible story: “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea” (from the account in Matthew 14: 22-33 KJV). A favorite book by Madeleine L’Engle is Walking On Water (1980, Harold Shaw; Wheaton, IL). So while Marion’s poem is specific to place, it then moves to a reference that will carry personal meanings for many.


As this week’s winner, Ellen 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 12:

     pain fading the days back to wilderness
          — Jim Kacian, Roadrunner VII:3 (2007)

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