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Viral 6.6

Virals is a section in which one person choses a haiku by another person and comments on that haiku. Then the author of that haiku is invited to select a haiku by someone else and comment on that poem, and so on. For an introduction to this section, see Virals.

Viral 6.6

Pools Of Light

BY Diane Lynch

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

春の日や水さへあれば暮残り

haru no hi ya mizu sae areba kure nokori

                                                     Lingering
                                                     in every pool of water—
                                                     spring sunlight

                                                            —Issa (trans by Stephen Addiss)

This is a gentle haiku. It invites the reader to rest with it awhile. I feel myself being lulled by the soft flowing sound of the water. I feel the warmth of the spring sun, a bit higher in the sky now. After the cold long winter, these first warm days, we wait in anticipation, and hope, of spring—the season of renewal.

This poem is universal. Our species is attracted to water. Whether one is participating in an activity associated with water or simply lingering in the light, we love sunshine and water. We are never in a hurry to leave this restorative and healing atmosphere.

At first, my imagination takes off with all that could occur at this moment in time. I wonder what life is teaming under the pools of water? Are there koi fish in Issaʼs pool, or frogs? Are there cherry blossoms on the surface? Is there a reflection, perhaps of a plum tree? What birds are singing? What color is the water?

I stop thinking about all that is not mentioned. I focus on the water and the sunʼs reach to every pool. I think of how three-quarters of the planetʼs surface is covered by pools—and the sunʼs reach to all of these bodies of water. And I think of how water and the sunʻs light are requirements for survival.

As I look out my window, I see several temporary pools that were formed by flooding rains. But Issaʼs pools are not temporary. They remain, centuries later, in this timeless haiku. Let us linger.

this translation appeared in A Haiku Garden (1996) by Stephen Addiss

Kobayashi Issa (June 15, 1763 — January 5, 1828) cannot select the next poem,
and so Viral 6 comes to a close.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Viral 6.1 (Metz ➝ Robinson)
Viral 6.2 (Robinson ➝ McClintock)
Viral 6.3 (McClintock ➝ LeBlanc)
Viral 6.4 (LeBlanc ➝ Christian)
Viral 6.5 (Christian ➝ Lynch)

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ban’ya Natsuishi I think best described kire as a shift or leap in content and rhythm from one line in haiku to another.

  2. As you say, Diane, a gentle haiku, describing a quiet moment. I think of puddles after a rain, the sky blue, the air clean and fresh, the sun drying the wet surfaces, but not yet the puddles.
    There is time to linger and see the sun’s reflections in these puddles before they dry up and return again as more rain to create more puddles, to repeat the cycle over and over again.

    A lovely choice for spring.

    Adelaide

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