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