Haiku review – the last poem

This is the haiku review for the haiku, the last poem, by Sanjuktaa Asopa. The review is by members of In Haiku Mumbai and Chennai.

 

the last poem
signed with a flourish-
falling star

**

Gautam

 

This poem leaves so much open to interpretation that it has all the hallmarks of a super haiku.

 

I say haiku with some reservations because “falling star” appears to be a kigo. Yet the sensibility seems to point to the senryu. After all, writing poetry does not belong to the purely natural world and appears to be more man-made.

Apart from categorizing the poem, there is more than one level that opens up to the perceptive reader.

Who was this poet? Did he/she know the poem would be the last one at the time of writing? Or did the chronicler interpret it this way much later?

The flourish mentioned, may be an interpretation rather than intended by the poet.

Falling star, is suggestive of decline, but who noticed it, the poet of the last poem or the chronicler?

All these questions have a myriad possible answers, and as a well known critic once said, rhe more interpretations possible, the better the poem.

**

 

Geetanjali

 

This haiku by Sanjuktaa Asopa starts with an end by referring to a last poem. The stage is set for a sad haiku defined by a sense of loss in the first line itself. The second line introduces the poet (without any pronouns) and shows the flourish with which the poem has been signed. The image of a poet who is on the verge of a literal or metaphorical death is what comes to mind. This could be the last time the poet will ever write and sign a creation.

 

Then, Sanjuktaa juxtaposes the flourish of the pen very deftly, with a falling star. Suddenly, the poem takes on a very different depth because to me, the image of a falling star is one that lights the sky and one that many yearn to see and perhaps, wish upon for their own future. The poet has perhaps lit up the world around her with her own creations and now, knows that she has to move on. And hence, the flourish of the last signature. The clever play on the words ‘falling star’, which could refer to leonids and perseids or to the falling star which is the state that the poet herself could be at, leaves the haiku at a semicircle with plenty of scope for the reader to step in and interpret.

 

From a sad haiku, this turned into a poem about quiet acceptance, dignity, ends, and perhaps, even trailblazing. The endless possibilities are definitely what made this haiku a winner. (It won a prize in 2011 at the Calico Cat international bilingual haiku contest held by Origa in memory of Hortensia Anderson).
**

 

Shreelatha

 

the last poem—anything that suggests “a last” is so sad; and here it says-a poem. how sad! When does one say its a last poem .when the poet is no more. A death ku?

 

signed with a flourish— wow that gives me hope but with a tinge of sadness that its all coming to an end. but not before that one last performance.

 

falling star- bright and beautiful journey of a star before it gets lost

 

As I finish reading this poem, one image flashes on my mind. Sachin Tendulkar.
**

 

Rohini

 

A rather sad haiku is brightened with ‘a flourish’. The last line sounds final.  Did she give up writing? Or is it a death haiku?

 

Falling star suggests the process has been going on for a while.  The decline may be due to old age or the declining fortunes of a famous person. But it is rescued by ‘signing with a flourish’ which shows a certain awareness of the decline and a defiance of it by signing with a flourish even right at the end.

 

So it’s really a hopeful haiku. I like the flourish put in the middle line so it can cushion  the bleakness of falling star which might have been too much of a downer on its own.
**

 

Raamesh

 

The context of the phrase gives a second meaning to the fragment: of the poet on the decline. This reading then reanimates the phrase, in my mind there’s the image of the poet/ess struggling to accept that s/he’s no longer as popular as s/he was, and like all declining stars, the flourishes becoming more pronounced. The first line nevertheless indicates an end to this struggle; the acceptance, perhaps even surrender, that there will be no more poems. So why not sign it off with a flourish?

 

Analysis is of course, not without context. Though Sanjukta might not have intended it, her ku makes me re-examine the publishing phenomenon that is Rupi Kaur, now on the upswing even as her popularity leaves the current price establishment in tatters, and I wonder how prepared she is for the inevitable eclipse. In the same way that one sees writers, sportsmen and ageing movie stars.

 

Is it a death ku? I do not think so, but there is the inevitability of it, but an artistic rather than literal death. A signal for our times.
**

 

Sandra

 

There is a certain pathos to this ku. The last poem of the poet signed with a flourish… gives the impression that the poet’s best days are over and that his talent is on the decline. Recognising this sad fact, the poet gives significant importance to what he thinks is his last work of art.
**

 

Brijesh

 

Perhaps a death ku, L1 sets a poignant tone. The word ‘flourish’ in L2 though suggests an almost impish satisfaction at a writing life well spent. After all, even a falling star draws gasps of delight.

 

I wonder if it could also allude to the creator’s pen using the skies for a page and a falling star as a signal for us to sit up and take notice, now that his/her work is done
**

 

Vidya

 

She is an aging diva, a doyen of yesteryears. And now she has given her final performance. She knows she will not be performing again. And hence gives her best.

 

This piece is also reminicent of O.Henry’s last leaf. The masterpiece that the artist dreams is his/her final performance.

 

Does she like the artist in the O.Henry’ s story die a physical death? Or is it an artistic death?
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Elephant-headed haiku

Swinging to the chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya, The city of Mumbai celebrates its annual ten-Day festival in honour of Ganesha, the bringer of good things and the vanquisher of bad things. IN haiku Mumbai joins in the spirit with a special haiku ‘utsav’.

Send in your haiku, haibun, tanka, kyoka and senryu to inhaikumumbai AT gmail DOT com on the theme of the Ganpati festival, and we’ll feature them on our blog. Submissions remain open till sunset, 5 September 2017.

Old love

Entries received for our January 2017 prompt – Unrequited Love

1.
old love at the bazaar
flower-sellers drown out
my voice

Kasturi Jadhav

2.
weeping willows –
he marries
his new love

Deepa Shankar

3.
Leftovers
This evening we walked over the mountain to meet the sun that has burnt itself down to a cinder and yet failed to thaw the cold between us . . .

beginning again
from the beginning
you and I
** *

Traces of you

Today I fell in love with the shadow under the lamp. Yesterday it was the flame that went off in a sliver of spiral smoke. And the day before that, the petrichor of its clay shell.

trying to figure
the colour of loss . . .
wetness
***
The man . . .

. . . moved with deliberate slowness. Only his shadow dogging his heels, leaving in its wake the woman who would pack his lunch in a steel tiffin-box, a toddler still tasting the sweetness of his first syllables and a dog gnawing an age-old wound.

divorce papers . . .
we end up deleting
the ampersand
***
Unfinished

The typewriter has a mind and a story of its own and even though the keys go clickety-clack, the darn thing just isn’t ready to type the words I want it to.

coffee rings
somewhere our lives
did touch
***

Lovers

There were those who left the shape of their absence in the evening breeze and those who stayed behind like an odd pairing of words in a verse.

six degrees
a raindrop ripples
into another
***

Will you too leave?

What if I take a chisel and a hammer to this paperweight and release the flower and the delicate leaves within.

chalk lines . . .
the squares we skip and
those that skip us

Paresh Tiwari

4.
dry red roses still stand
in front of the closed door
unrequited love

Tahera Mannan
Nagpur, Maharashtra

5.
heartbreak
the rose in the vase untouched
by the storm

noon torpor…
the suddenness with which
she leaves my life

gone away—
now only the swirling mist
to embrace

Gautam Nadkarni

6.
Gamble

Walking through the neon city of the world, I imagined, could bring back the zing into our relationship. She is dazzled by the casinos and bright lights. And I see in her eyes, for the first time in years, the same warmth that I had seen when we first started dating. Then turning to me she says – “I’m in love with Vegas”

flight back home
the one vacant seat
to my left

Sandra Martyres

7.

winter’s grip
your fingers clasp
another’s

flotsam
into the twilight
the soul you chose not

Dr. Brijesh Raj

8.
faraway look…
on the horizon
a single bird

Mahrukh Jal Bulsara

9.
rose day
my haul of yellows
unmatched

shehnai sounds…
they brick up the window
opposite me

old rose petals
her forty year old no
browning slowly

hatsuyuki
watching your footsteps
vanish slowly

Raamesh Gowri Raghavan

Autumn, Winter submissions

Submissions are open for the World Haiku Review‘s autumn/winter issue.

Its autumn here and leading to the chill of winter. A time of falling leaves and passing years. A very good time to sit in the warmth of a room with a view, with a hot drink, and write.

The themes are lost love or autumn and winter subjects but they are only guidelines and you do not necessarily have to follow them.

The Deadline is Tuesday, 29th November, 2016.

Please send in your best – make sure it is not published elsewhere and please read the guidelines carefully HERE.

Look forward to reading your work.