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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Black Rope Tanka

a black rope
hangs from our childhood tree
the sound in her chest
lonelier
than a winter gust


Honorable Mention, 2012 San Francisco International Competition:


Judge's Comment:

This is a somber tanka. There is a rope, but not just any rope which could have hung a tire swing, but a black rope with its connotations of death and the implication of a tragic event. The choice of winter gust adds to the chilling effect of the poem. Of the chosen tanka this is the only one in which the poet writes about someone else. The poet is an observer. our childhood tree tells me that the poet knows the story of the rope, knows the woman, and also knows the sound that is lonelier than a winter gust. Perhaps, the poet feels the same when looking at this tree.