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re:Virals 140

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

 
     cloudless sky
     a pelican’s pouch 
     full of light  

          — Debbie Strange 

Marion Clarke left us this comment:

What an uplifting image. From a vast, clear sky to the detail of a pelican’s pouch as it flies overhead, as if it is carrying the sun. A perfect day completed by a natural observation. Simply delightful.

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As this week’s winner Marion 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 140:

 
     
     rumble of thunder...
     his question falls
     into my silence


          — Rebecca Drouilhet, Butterfly Dream, July 23 (2015) 

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Debbie, my apologies for not visiting sooner. I’ve admired this haiku of yours since first reading and wished I’d written it, A simple and true observation, for anyone who’s seen a pelican’s pouch with the light behind it (so the light in the pouch is a rosy colour) and expressed in such a way that has me dwelling on the wonder of it.
    .
    For my own reasons, I see this pelican either in the morning or just before sunset, circling then gliding down to a jetty to which, in a few minutes’ time, a fishing boat will come to dock. Soon, some more pelicans will join this one. . . the ‘welcome committee’ . . . and there’ll be more in those pouches than light. 🙂
    .
    – Lorin

  2. Dear Debbie,
    I am a huge fan of your exquisite crafting of images into words that I treasure. You capture the light in all of us ordinary creatures in this bug blue sky we share.
    Dear Alan,
    I look forward to re:Virals and the opportunity to walk among giants and learn at your feet. Thanks so much for the chance to be together!

  3. Gosh!
    .
    I thought more people would comment on this wonderful haiku:
    .
    .
    cloudless sky
    a pelican’s pouch
    full of light
    .
    Editors’ Choices,
    The Heron’s Nest, 18:2, (June 2016)
    .
    Debbie Strange
    .
    .
    Thanks Marion for a magical comment on this haiku.
    .
    .
    I remember being entranced by pelicans on Hervey Bay, Queensland (Australia) and walking amongst them, or vice versa. 🙂
    .
    They certainly can be seen as carriers of light!
    .
    .
    The haiku itself line by line:
    .
    .
    cloudless sky
    .
    .

    A straight set up (context setting) line of the great sky most probably seen from outdoors, or maybe a window, tempting someone out. Perhaps a half-opened door, and a nervous or recently ill person debating whether to take the plunge and take advantage of a fine.
    .
    .
    We are left wide open as readers to go where we may, and that’s great!
    .
    .

    a pelican’s pouch
    .
    .
    Ah! A neat switch! Are we somewhere coastal or at a zoo? Are we sipping Piña coladas or lattes by a shoreside café?
    .
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    full of light
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    Wherever we are, in our imagination, on the coast, or a beach, or a zoo, we are filled with light as much as that pelican’s pouch.
    .

    .
    Alan

    1. Dear Marion and Alan:

      Thanks kindly for taking the time to comment on “cloudless sky”. I appreciate it more than I can say. As you may already know, birds feature in many of my haiku and tanka. They never cease to remind me of the magic of the natural world.
      .
      We are fortunate to have a large colony of pelicans nearby. I’m fascinated by the juxtaposition between their somewhat ungainly appearance on land, and how graceful they are in flight, carrying the sun with them wherever they go!
      .
      shine on,
      Debbie

      1. Thanks Debbie!
        .
        Like Herons they are both gainly and ungainly, silent, quiet, and incredibly noisy. I guess humans can be like that too! 🙂
        .
        A gorgeous haiku, full of simplicity amplifying the beauty of complexity in life that is both.
        .
        Alan

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