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re:Virals 48

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

     A blue anchor grains of grit in a tall sky sewing 
          John Ashbery, Sulphur5 (1981)

Perhaps not surprisingly, no one took up the challenge of this difficult poem. As a consequence I have chosen this next week’s poem, with hope that it strikes home to more of you.


As this week’s non-winner, I get 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 48:

     my haplogroup
     shows the sponge gene —
     distant lightning 
          Robert Mainone, Modern Haiku/i> 40.3 (2009)

This Post Has One Comment

  1. This comment after the fact from Ayaz Daryl Nielsen: “John Ashbery is one fine haiku poet, one from whom creativity flows in huge waves, and this example is but one small snippet — all sorts of cross-currents, constant change, to a wave, and so also with J Ashbery’s creative flow — will look this poem up, and read those poems that came before and those after, and betcha’ I’ll (again) tell myself, damn, this guy is good, and I’m gonna learn a little something new, here and now, about my own creative flow . . .”

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