Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Poems of the Year 2015

2015 poems were elected by the participants in the contests Romanian Kukai and Haiku Club.
Following the vote of the 28 participants in the contest ROMANIAN KUKAI, out of 47 poems on the list (poems ranked in the top 3 each month, to which special prizes were added from August to December), the following haiku has been designated the poem of the year 2015:

frozen lake -
shivering in a hole
a tank of stars

by Genovel-Florentin Frățilă

For HAIKU CLUB contest, 11 voters chose, from the list with 34 poems (the first 3 written from  January to July), the poem by Mihai Mateiciuc:

fairy-tale cart -
a butterfly on the beam
is ready to go

Monday, December 28, 2015

Essay about a poem sent to Weekly Romanian Kukai no. 423

Christmas concert –
in the storage closet the ballad
of a little cricket

Cristian D.

The supreme elegance of the poem is felt by its relaxed reading. Nothing is forced or difficult in the formulation. It is like reading while riding a vehicle some extremely simple announcements made specifically for not giving you the work of deciphering and directly saying (only) what there is to say. Without pretensions or unnecessary precious or parasitic words.

Joining the two parts of the poem is also, apparently, random. It was just accidentally that two phrases, otherwise trivial, happened to be side by side. That is a haiku’s refinement, to give the impression that things were not planned, that behind them there is no intent. To give you food for thought without seeming to do so deliberately.

The only remark - in the storage closet accompanies, locating it, the cricket’s performance. About the Christmas concert we do not know more, but it has a certain monumentality and leads us to think about a room matched to the occasion, and to imagine an orchestra accompanied, perhaps, by choirs. But, especially, the feast which is associated to it and that, most likely, occasions it.

In the closet - in an annex where the things we discard as junk are stored. There, the cricket finds abode and it plays, penitently, its monotonous ballad. It is part, together with its song, of the things we easily get rid of because they are outdated, anachronistic. Just like in Romanian poet’s Topârceanu's ballad, the cricket is no longer topical, it has become obsolete.

Henceforth, the symbolism of the two events is always full of contrasts. Celebration sad sad isolation. Grandeur and decay. Conceit and humility. Civilization of the artificial and sobriety of simplicity. Fastuosity and austere naturalism.

However, this getting rid of all these things also sounds like a desire to get rid of something that upsets and disturbs, which stands around us just as a reprimanding embarrassment. Making our flawless lives dirty.

(Corneliu Traian Atanasiu)

Comments for Weekly Romanian Kukai no. 422

First Place – Argentina Stanciu

snow falls over the crosses -
on grandmother’s tapestry
the unfinished poppies

Two images whose tension increases when they are placed one next to the other, through the power of the silence where the allusions are at work, amplifying the little that is said in concentric, full of vibrations, contexts.

White and black (burial colour) in a vital contrast with the red poppies. The colors are present only elliptically, in remembrance of the snow, cross and flowers on the embroidered frame. The grandmother’s absence is suggested only by the presence of the cemetery and of stopped work, on the unfinished poppies on the tapestry, just before they were being finished. The natural touch to the discrete and fluent utterance of two simple and candid observations. Two pictures whose tension increases when they are placed side by side in the silence through which the allusions are working, amplifying what is said (very little, actually) in concentric, full of vibration, contexts.

Second Place – Costin Iliescu

poor tenant -
a cricket pays
bit by bit

From the outset, the poor tenant is a performance of a wealth of meaning. No, it is not the summer cricket, careless singing all night. It's the one of the fable and ballad, sheltered somewhere in a nook of the house, singing sadly intermittently, ashamed that it had to compromise and to find a shelter for the winter.

Payment is really all he knows to do – its song. He may not be able to do something more beneficial. Bit by bit means something small and weak (“black, small, dipped in ink and dusted with frost on its wings”), a little, a bit, bit by bit. Something that is insignificant is compensated by noise and repetition (like a mosquito buzzing nervously and weakly, due to its constitution). How to pay otherwise than bit by bit, with song, trembling, flashing...

without wood -
next to the fireplace the old man’s
creaking bones

Cristian D.

The wood that should be creaking in the fireplace is absent.  The creaking of the old bones does not compensate for the lack of heat and, if the fingers are those that creak, we know that the old man is in big trouble.

(Corneliu Traian Atanasiu)