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Plastic Bag Haiku : Haiku Commentary by Nicholas Klacsanzky

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 appreciated in his precious blog!
Thank you Martha Magenta, Dana Grover, Jacob Salzer and Nicholas Klacsanzky for giving the commentary. It was all delicious, and I appreciate all you’ve done.

 

 

Nicholas David Klacsanzky on Google Plus, September 18th, 2017

 

 

With the plastic bag

a stork wraps the moon

on its head

 

Ken Sawitri (Indonesia)

Published for the 2nd time in Haiku Commentary, digging deep into the small things, on September 18th, 2017
Selected by Nicholas David Klacsanzky

Published for the first time in Robert Epstein and Miriam Wald (Eds.), 2016 (1st ed.), Every Chicken,
Cow, Fish and Frog: Animal Rights Haiku
, Middle Island Press

 

Nicholas Klacsanzky said:

I think this haiku contains an opportunity for a mix of interpretations. In fact, I believe the author intended for us to get a visceral reaction out of it: one that is at once shocking by the image, and awed by the beauty of the moon. To me, these qualities make it a strong haiku, as it reflects life: life is mixed, with good in bad, and bad in good.

The plastic bag is flimsy, unnatural, and a thing eventually meant to be thrown away. Yet, here in the haiku, it has the dignified duty of carrying the light of the moon on the stork’s head. This act can have many interpretations, but the spiritual meaning could be that the stork feels a sense of enlightenment and it has gone beyond its mind or individual self. It seems like a representation of a loss of ego and becoming one with the spiritual self.

This haiku does carry overtones of death, but that could be the death of the ego, and the “attainment” of enlightenment. The haiku portrays a disturbing moment, however the heron could theoretically shake the plastic bag off its head in an instant. But we are kept in suspense, and this marks one of the qualities of haiku: since it is a fragment of a sentence, the poet can create mystery quite easily.

Even the sound of the haiku demonstrates a mixed feeling. The “o” sound in “stork,” “moon,” and “on” brings a soothing resonance. However, with the hard sounds of “plastic,” “bag,” and “wraps”, the haiku delivers a harsh feeling.

The open and striking nature of this haiku allows one to ponder its image for a while. I think like a good haiku, it cannot be pinned down in meaning and mood.

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