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re:Virals 256

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

     palm reader
     my love line
     has a typo
          — Sanela Pliško, Failed Haiku #53 (2020)

Mona Iordan reads between the lines:

Love is one of the major forces in our life, and men and women alike are thriving to enjoy it. Too often, they cannot find love or they experience bitter disappointment.    

This is the case here, too. The first line directs us to the place of a palm reader whom the poet consults. An ancient practice, palmistry claims to tell one’s fortune; therefore, people often turn to it in desperate situations.  

The following lines bring the voice of the poet to the foreground. She has appealed to the palm reader as a last resort for her woes in love, looking for answers, guidance or reassurance. However, the palm reader shows the poet that her love line is not favorable to the fulfillment of her feelings.

When told about the ”flaw” engraved in her palm, the poet discovers the cause of her unhappy love life. The keyword ”typo” echoes the popular belief that our destiny is written out for us, once for all. Therefore, it is not her own fault.

That proof may give the poet a reason to more easily accept her unfortunate past experiences. Or maybe it helps her to come to terms with a possible future life without love.

A melancholic poem written in a low key with touching notes.

As this week’s winner, Mona 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 257:

     train window...
     the shape of an apology
     on her lips
          — Praniti Gulyani,  The Heron's Nest, Volume XXII, Number 2 (2020)

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. re:Virals 256:

    palm reader
    my love line
    has a typo
    — Sanela Pliško, Failed Haiku #53 (2020)

    From time immemorial down to day, palm reading, tarot card reading and parrots picking up cards and avid interest in astrology – are all practices, applied in knowing one’s one future. Future implies past and present for once the past becomes now present and in due course future.

    Sanela Plisko, has given as a write, propelling our common /imminent curiosity involved in palm reading.
    This week’s senryu about palm reader’s prediction curiously involves the reading /interpretation of line by applying the error of misspelling or typo. Innumerable reasons are there, results and predictions are there- analogues to that of poetic saying -“ felt in the blood and felt along the heart” by that immortal bard of England.

    Parents’ anxiety turned into curiosity to know if there is any matrimonial prospect for their beloved daughter, If so where the bridegroom likely to hail from and when the marriage is likely to take place etc.; some elders even to consult the palmists which is the right direction to buy a plot or construct a house, and which auspicious time to perform house warming ceremony et., young aspiring students if they will pass in their exams ; if engineering
    seats or medicine will be suitable to their profile;

    what is the learned role from ancestral training or still learning role of a palmist now? Looking into the lines of palm of the clients who consider the palmist as God now for the moment; lines criss cross, lines up and down, lines cut and lines for romance and matrimony and for longevity and certainly not a deadline for life span in most cases; nonetheless, there were cases, I heard here and there exact dates of some happening for some events.
    Here, the first line beginning with “ palm reader/ continuing to the second and third line/ “ my love line /has a typo.”
    The persona or the spokesman in a humorous tone, points out, his love line has been misspelt; or gone wrong by way of typo.
    That is the palmist says, of course, for fun, that his ( client’s) love line should reads as “life line/or live line/. How one single alphabet changes the entire meaning or fate of the person ; just as how one zero can add or mar or boost the destiny
    of whole situation.

    It can be interpreted possibly this way too. According to the persona , the palmist means his love is failure and his
    Life is strong;

    Even in solar and lunar predictions, the position or direction of sun and moon said to have impact on human existence.
    Taking into its totality some belief strengthened or belied;

  2. Dear Mona lordan,
    In your analysis, the following observations, obviously very nice and understandable.

    When told about the ”flaw” engraved in her palm, the poet discovers the cause of her unhappy love life. The keyword ”typo” echoes the popular belief that our destiny is written out for us, once for all. Therefore, it is not her own fault.

    1. Dear Radhamani sarma,

      Thank you for the comment on my analysis. Above all, I appreciate your commentary on palm reading. The particularised presentation of this belief is very interesting.It shows the extent to which the ancient beliefs still inform the representations we have of our lives as subject to destiny, despite all the latest scientific knowledge.

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