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Haiku Classic: Sept. 1, 2019

bird shadow

    from tree shadow

    to fence shadow


    Christopher Herold (1948-). From "HAIKU sans frontieres" (1998) edited by Andre Duhaime.

    I particularly like the way this haiku starts with the two dimensional shadow of a bird, thereby zooming our gaze in to concentrate on its movements, enabling us to imagine the actual creature. Once the shadow registers in our mind as a bird, we can then extrapolate that the shadows touching it must belong to a tree. Then, as the bird's shadow flits away our gaze follows it to take in the whole shadow-scene. We see it land on what can only be a fence's shadow. From this, our consciousness falls back and takes in the scene again, imagining the actual bird, tree and fence in all the splendid colors of their three dimensional existence.

    Selected and commented on by Dhugal J. Lindsay

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