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re:Virals 52

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

     dandelion antsronauts
          Tom Sacramona, bottle rockets 18.1 (2016)

Marion Clarke is entertained:

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

At first I thought I’d misread this one . . . then I thought it was a tongue twister . . . finally, I saw Daliesque black ants (with large heads) climbing on a yellow flower. Highly amusing!

And Garry Eaton has his doubts:

I am surprised that anyone could construe this as haiku, but will be happy to be shown I’m mistaken.

What I see is ants that have climbed a dandelion gone to seed being carried away on individual seed tufts by the wind, like astronauts returning to earth in tiny re-entry pods. It’s an amusing fantasy, and may actually sometimes happen, depending on the physics of the situation (wind speed, lift and the weight of the ant, blah, blah, blah) but it seems to me the “experience” was contrived, a cartoon made for the purpose of creating a “haiku.” Too cute.

Can Lynn Edge persuade them otherwise?:

I confess to first readng the second word as astronauts and seeing the fuzz from the dandelion flying in the wind.

On second read, “antsronauts” adds a humorous aspect to the poem. The ants catch a ride on the dandelion fuzz on their way to colonize what for them can be a new world.

How creative to capture an image and an abstract idea in two words. Also, the poet invents a word accessible to readers, and it brings a lightness to the day.



As this week’s winner, Lynn 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 52:

     a slight shake of bells
     as the harness comes off
     night snow
          Chad Lee Robinson, The Heron's Nest XI:2 (2009)
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