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Haiku Classic: Jan. 7, 2018

winter evening:

    leaving father's footprints

    I sink into deep snow


    Nicholas Virgiio (1928-1989), from "Global Haiku: twenty five poets worldwide," edited by George Swede and Randy Brooks, Mosaic Press 2000. Selected and commented on by Dhugal J. Lindsay

    This poem seems to take place simultaneously at two very different points in the poet's life. Just reading the second and third lines one imagines the poet as a child, following their father through the snow. The child steps on the hardened snow created by the weight of their father as he plods along, and then, as if to test their independence, sallies forth into fresh snow and sinks deep into its softness -- perhaps needing their father to extract them from their predicament. On the basis of these final two lines, one imagines the scene to take place during daylight hours, perhaps in mid-morning. However, the poet explicitly states that it is a winter evening and sets the scene at the start of the poem. This suggests that the poet is older and in the evening of their life, following in the footsteps of their father, possibly having inherited the family business, and now being older than their father ever was. The poet remembers a scene from their childhood as they feel lost without the guidance of their father.

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