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

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Blossom Wind Haiku

blossom wind
my sick wife holds my hand

Judge's Commentary: A poignant moment; the wind takes the delicate blossoms which can no longer hold on to their branches and the writer’s sick wife is perhaps holding on to life and the lifeline of love. The middle line being the longest also speaks effectively to that extension of the heart one feels towards an ill loved one; as the hand is extended, we will love and healing through it and wish them strength and recovery. That one word “tighter” at the end delivers the emotional impact of bracing tight against the illness, against the scattering of the blossoms with the wind; the unvoiced desire to keep things stable. The blossoms provide a stark contrast (life as usual outside with blossoms appearing on schedule in spring) against the illness scene (sickness, pain, fear of survival), while also highlighting the inner mechanics of both elements in the juxtaposition (blossoms subject to the will of the wind, as illness is subject to the alchemy of medical care and one’s health in the healing process.)