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re:Virals 4

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

birdsong editing my dream diary
          — Julie Warther, Hedgerow 47

Scott Mason is this week’s winner, finding hidden resources in both form and content:

A haiku in one line presents the adept poet with a special option: to conflate two subjects or images with a degree of persuasiveness, even truth, that cannot be achieved through more conventionally formatted haiku with line breaks. Julie Warther performs such magic with this gem. Here we have the real (“birdsong”) and the imagined (“my dream diary”) literally in concert, giving new force and meaning to the old nursery rhyme lyric “Life is but a dream.”


As this week’s winner, Scott 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:Viral 5:

here other
than wind’s lamentation
nothing is
          — Clare McCotter, Nest Feathers: Selected Haiku from the First 15 Years of The Heron’s Nest (The Heron’s Nest Press 2015)
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