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

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Intense Gaze Tanka

I look away
from his intense gaze …
this homeless man
speaks English
with an accent like mine

Honorable Mention, Tanka Section, 2017 British Haiku Society Awards

Judge's commentary: The tanka I chose for honorable mention represent a mix of themes from the traditional to the contemporary. ... “I look away” is a contemporary poem that speaks to what is happening worldwide as streets and cities are flooded with the homeless. This intimate moment between two countrymen who had quite different outcomes in their lives suggests a survivor’s guilt that many of us feel when coming across the homeless.