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re:Virals 86

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

     home after dark
     through the window my family
     of strangers
          — Dee Evetts, The Haiku Hundred (Iron Press, 1992)

Marina Bellini feels the dislocation:

In this poem, what caught immediately my attention is “strangers”.

Is the author’s family a disruptive one, where people living under the same roof dislike each other or is there a different reason? The author works hard, long hours; he/she has little time to spend with them; when is back home maybe children are already in bed and the same is for his/her spouse. Either way, the atmosphere created is of sadness and loneliness. It depicts a scene that is too often part of our busy lives; we work too much in order to give the best to our families, but at the same time we can’t give enough of our presence and love and affection. A very well-written modern haiku, to which many of us can relate.


As this week’s winner, Marina gets to select the next 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 86:

     final rays . . .
     still reason
     to hum
          — Marion Clarke, Haiku Master (NHK, 2016)

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Hello Marina,

    I did not say I disapprove, or even that I find haiku featured here boring, though I can see how it might look that way. I do think the inclusion of more “non-normative” work would be a good thing, maybe even attract participants we haven’t seen yet. As I said: *every now and then*. I’m requesting a mix. And as I told Lorin, I have indeed offered a commentary on a previous haiku and chose one to put forward. At some point I will do so again.


  2. I would like to put in a request for winners of re:Virals to select, at least now and then, more challenging haiku, maybe even controversial haiku, or something that might be found in the Metz/Gurga anthologies.


    1. I’d like to encourage you to write some comments for the re:Virals feature, Meg. 🙂 That way, sooner or later, you’ll get the chance to select whatever haiku you’d like for the next round.

      – Lorin

    2. Hello Lorin,

      Yes. I have done, actually. It’s back there somewhere in the archives.


    3. Hi Meg, I am sorry that you do not approve the choices of haiku to comment (mine and the previous ones); personally, I have always found them interesting and challenging. Everybody has a different way of feeling poetry, so it could be that what you find boring, is instead challenging for others. As Lorin suggested, writing comments give us more opportunities to be selected and then offer your proposal. Looking forward to reading you on this page. 🙂

      – Marina

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