Last night on tv:
the kid says he no longer
wants to count
I posted the above poem as a test, accompanied by a photo taken from the internet, on another page with the intent to explore to see whether the topic is of interest and what reactions it creates. The meaning of the poem is simple: enough, I don’t want anymore of this, leave me alone!
The things, as we deal with an attempt to write haiku/senryu, are presented with the characteristic reticence and reserve of the haiku authors. And the source fact is mentioned eliptically. Last night on tv is just a test (unusual in haiku, but usual in an epigram) to create the context: it is there that the scene ought to have occured. Of course it’s all about an as if type of scene, on tv there was announced only the increase of the deceased ones, which gave me the idea to write about a child who has learnt to count, but who refuses to do it further in this case (yet those on tv are still counting).
I do not attack the topic or theme directly, I do not say things straight, right away, I do not declare what I mean to say and believe directly, bluntly, literally. I do it obliquely evoking a minor, realistic fact, if we think about how a kid behaves when he is made to count for the reason that he has been taught how to count. Apparently, counting is neutral towards what you count. This time, however...
I added the photograph only to raise the sensitivity of a bit lazy reader and to direct him towards a kid’s injured innocence. Thus dodging him to let the reactions of an excessive indignation seize him. And, possibly, to get him to accept that the inflammation and exaggerated gestures are inappropriate for haiku. But things can be felt even without this.
I was thus glad that Daniela Sorina Ciurariu reacted with an excellent, temperate indignation:
only a pair of blue eyes
When you write haiky you must first do your best to keep things muffled. A haiku is not an errupting volcano. It is just a puddle where you catch a few of its mirroring reflections.
(Corneliu Traian Atanasiu)
Note: The event that prompted writing these haiku was the fire in a Romanian club, Colectiv, from Bucharest, which occurred during the night of October 30, 2015. The group Goodbye to Gravity was holding a free concert. The fire was set because of the fireworks used indoors during the concert. It spread rapidly. 26 young persons were killed on the spot, while other 181 were hurt. Ten days after the tragedy, the number of dead victims reaches 47.