she says no
to further chemo
The Heron's Nest, 15:4, December 2013
… it's the telling that makes this haiku so powerful. Not to mention the clarity and simplicity of the phrase "she says no." This poem could have ended with that: autumn sun / she says / no. It works as a haiku with its juxtaposition and room for the reader to wonder what the she said no about and why, but I think Larsson's choice to include "to further chemo" is a wise one. Clarifying what the she says no to, while it cuts off some possibilities, creates a whole new dimension that most readers probably would not consider. In providing a little more guidance, Larsson's haiku also sparks a whole new range of emotions and questions that hits sooner and greater than if found by the reader's interpretation of "no".
The aim of clarity is not to limit the reader, but to open the most potent doors.
-- excerpted from Aubrie Cox’s "The Last Page: Clarity," Ripples, 29:1, March 2014, p.34
The bipartite structure of Marcus’s haiku is the one that has become standard over the years: the first part is a natural reference, followed by a statement or personal commentary. The suggestive power of this type of haiku relies on the combined effect of an emotionally resonant juxtaposition of the two parts of the poem and a heartfelt statement/commentary whose content is psychological with an emphasis on insight and awareness.
In the case of Marcus’s haiku, Ls 2&3 imply that the previous rounds of chemo did little or nothing to combat the disease. As she is approaching death, she wants to make the best of her remaining life and thus decides to “say no to further chemo.” Therefore, I think the best choice of a natural scene to be juxtaposed with her heart wrenching yet inspiring statement in Ls 2&3 is “winter sun.”
This heartfelt haiku reminds me of Ayşe Arman's article, titled "I will die in a few weeks, but life is still beautiful," which was published on Hurriyet Daily News
Ann and Özgür have been a couple for the past 23 years, but time is running out as she battles the final stage of ovarian cancer. Doctors provided her with two options: Either continue on with chemotherapy at hospital or spend your last days with your husband and children at home. She picked the second option. Here is her story.