Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The cuckoo and the grandfather clock

the grandfather clock has stopped -
through the open window
cuckoo’s song

Violeta Urdă

The cuckoo’s song, joined to the broken grandfather clock, is hiding a small ellipse: the cuckoo in the grandfather clock no longer announces the time, it is dead. The ticking time, measured in a pedantic way, is given, by the time of the cuckoo, another measure, a syncopated and living one. The antithesis between mechanical and living, between domestic and wild, between the stale air from inside and the fresh breeze from the outside imposes not only two images in opposition to each other but also an option, a vision of renewal, the an open window remaining a symbol of receptivity.

I think that the quiet grandfather clock, an adjective with two meanings, broken and silent, would have  been more suggestive, evoking a paradoxical sympathy of the pendulum. After all, even if the haiku’s text is silent as to a desirable attitude, it creates an atmosphere that is saturated by its suggestions.

(Corneliu Traian Atanasiu)

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