Nicholas Klacsanzky, the editor of Haiku Commentary, an online journal for the analysis of haiku and related forms, is a widely-published haiku, senryu, and tanka poet, and a technical editor by profession. He is a mentor for haiku, senryu, and tanka on the online group Poets on Google Plus. He was conferred with a certificate for being one of the top 100 haiku poets in Europe in 2015 and 2016 by Haiku Euro Top curated by Krzysztof Kokot. Nicholas wants to carry on the tradition of his father George Klacsanzky, a pioneer in the haiku scene in America, with his publication Haiku Zasshi Zo, by promoting haiku further.
Today, Indonesia getting the honoured being reviewed in his precious blog!
Thank you, Nicholas,
Greetings from Indonesia,
I strike the bell
with my shadow
rumah yang terbengkalai
Ken Sawitri (Indonesia)
Published for the 5th time in Haiku Commentary, digging deep into the small things, on March 4th, 2017
Selected by Nicholas David Klacsanzky
Published for the 4th time in Ardea, the multilingual short-form poetry journal, Issue 6, September, 2016
Selected by John Kinory
Translated into Indonesian by Ken Sawitri
Published for the 3rd time in The Falling Star, haiku anthology
Selected haiku from Wild Plum – a haiku journal and the Wild Plum Haiku Contest 2016, on August 31st 2016
Edited by Gabriel Sawicki
Published for the 2nd time in Living Haiku Anthology, July 18th, 2016
Selected by Don Baird
Published for the 1st time in Wild Plum, a haiku journal 2.1 Spring & Summer Issue, March 1st, 2016
Selected by Gabriel Sawicki
Nicholas Klacsanzky said :
The surprise in the last line is not just there for shock, but also for its image. It conjures a mood of intense loneliness.
“Shadow” could be physical or metaphorical. It could be a play of perception, or an introspection on the past or present misery that came to the house or the narrator.
The action (or imagination of the action) of striking the bell brings the house back to life, occupying it with sound. However, this occupation only increases its somber mood, as it is even more obvious that no one lives there anymore.
In reality, the bell probably was not rung, but the narrator only touched the bell with his shadow (showing that even in the possible reluctance to ring the bell, the shadow did it for him). Houses have characters and lives of their own, and only touching the doorbell with his shadow is in a sense displaying the lonely atmosphere the house emits.
The image of the shadow touching the doorbell also shows a sense of reflection about times past, and maybe that the narrator is thinking of how he could have done something different to change the situation that made this house abandoned.
Getting more into the technical side, I think the lack of punctuation adds to the atmosphere of abandonment. The somber pace of the lines also points to the mood.
The two most prominent sounds in the haiku come from the letters “s” and “o.” The letter “s” gives way to the sound of “shhh,” kind of like a shadow brushing up against the doorbell (though shadows don’t make sounds, but in our imagination they can). The letter “o” puts more emphasis on the melancholy mood.
Starting from an initial surprise, the haiku leads to introspection and wonder about the sad state of one’s past that led to the present, and what we could have done to avoid our suffering. Though the haiku appears simple, it revs up our imagination through imagery and sound.