Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Friday, July 29, 2011

Autunm Haiku

crowded
in my whisky glass
autumn stars



third prize in the Haiku Section of the New Zealand Poetry Society’s 2011 International Poetry Competition; anthologized in Ice Diver

Judge's Report (Judge: Joanna Preston)

A lovely classical haiku, entirely bound into the image and the moment. Key here is the play of the images, and the shift of focus. Crowded - a human scale, combining a certain amount of confinement with an awareness of (occupied) space. Glass - small, intimate, vulnerable. And then autumn stars - opening out into the vast expanse of the night sky. You can feel the person looking into their glass, than raising their gaze upwards. Feel the whirling sensation of the alcohol matching the giddiness of the depths of space. The colour of the whisky and the golden hues of autumn, and the way stars seem brighter and more numerous then than at any other time of year. Are the stars also ice cubes in the whisky? The light reflecting from the glass as it is raised? Or from the liquid itself? It's pure moment, and a very accomplished ‘ahhh'.