Congratulations to our author, polymath Dr David H. Rosen!
As my Editor’s Choice, I’ve selected this deceptively plain haiku by David H. Rosen, as a fine example of what the haiku genre is about, man and nature:
Slug trail on the porch …
Now, I understand my life
David’s haiku is an equilibrium which contains feelings of uncertainty and hints of self-mockery, seemingly a somewhat despondent and detached description of his own life, as well as the unfathomable beauty he perceived in the slug’s silver trail, as a metaphor for one’s own legacy. A crafty comparison of a natural phenomenon to both the plight and the blessings of mankind … what scholarly scope!
I realize that poetry is a “living art form” and will always be evolving forward or reverting back full circle. Therefore the gift to be simple and stick to it, when everyone around you is experimenting by pushing the boundaries and trying to come off as a complex intellectual, is a difficult path.
David is a complex intellectual, which is why I believe he has already mastered simple. His moment reflects only the pureness and simplicity of nature as it is and states this clearly through mention of something as mundane as a slug. Then, he adds the surprise juxtaposition.
My Editor’s Choices are never based on the number of lines, since format to me has nothing to do with content. Nor do I think a kigo is mandatory. I do believe that at least some “feeling” of the natural world is a must, as well as a setting, subject, verb, and an aha, no matter in what order they appear.
Unfortunately, there are others out there today who are publishing “short poems” of any type or kind under the guise of haiku. While this may be fine for mainstream poetry, imo, it’s a whole different story when it comes to Japanese and eastern aesthetics. David’s haiku is an exceptional example of “yugen.”
*Rosenberry Books is the exclusive publisher of the United Haiku & Tanka Society.