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Haiku Classic: Oct. 1, 2017

I stop to listen;

    the cricket

    has done the same.

    --

    Arizona Zipper (1940?-) From "The Haiku Anthology" (revised edition), edited by Cor van den Heuvel, Touchstone 1991. Selected and commented on by Dhugal J. Lindsay

    In the instant of time/experience that this haiku portrays, we experience a moment of "mu" or nothingness. There is no sound entering the ears of the poet, just reverberations of the cricket's song echoing within his mind. Punctuation is usually used very sparingly in haiku but the semicolon in this poem is pivotal -- literally! It juxtaposes the poet's experience of the moment with the experience of the cricket, while the period adds emphasis to the current state of silence, suggesting that the silence may be final. In effect, the period acts in the same way as the Japanese kireji (cutting word) "kana."

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