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
haiku editing a babbler enters the conversation — Neena Singh, Failed Haiku, Volume 6, Number 62 (2021)
Lakshmi Iyer reflects on the collaboration:
What to say about this senryu? Already, the babbler has done most of the talking. The poet has beautifully captured the technique of association, where the babbler in line two reflects the work in line one, “haiku editing.” The poet’s attitude towards haiku is clearly visible here. But, maybe, she likes to have a companion to help her with the editing. That’s when she brings in her friend at lines two and three:
a babbler enters
So striking and so fragile! Who is this babbler? The babbler is a chatty bird as we say; the loquacious! There may have been moments of joy, humor, happiness while chatting with her non-stop chattering friend. I would also like to pinpoint that maybe the babbler is her grandchild. Usually, kids make the most babbling of noises, chatting all day long the things they like the most. This must have in some way either motivated her to do the editing or leave the poem as is in line one.
A wonderful framework of minimalist poetry.
As this week’s winner, Lakshmi 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!
The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy.
hundred — Grandpa claims to be older than the banyan tree — Akila G., Creatrix #27 (2014)