hanging rain drops
in the maple grove
Patricia Machmiller ‘s Comment:
This haiku's beautiful image of stillness embodied in the hanging raindrops is deepened by a second reading of the way the word, "still," works in the poem. In this second reading, it is as if the drops hanging on the branches, as long as they hold on, it will still be autumn. It is as though their very act of clinging is enough to stave off the inevitable -- the coming of winter.
-- excerpted from Blyth's Spirit by Neal Whitman (p. 28)
Neal's haiku is a typical example of one word that can make or break a poem. I principally agree with Patricia’s comment, especially with the conclusion. Neal’s audacious use of “still” and his good choice of a seasonal reference add emotional weight and psychological depth to this little poem.