Thursday, August 1, 2013

Butterfly Dream: Bedroom Mirror Haiku by Rita Odeh

English Original

bedroom mirror --
the coldness of that dangling
single breast

Third prize, Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest

Rita Odeh

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

臥室鏡子 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

卧室镜子 --

Bio Sketch

Rita Odeh is from Nazareth, Israel. She comes from a christian Palestinian  family. She has B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Haifa University. She has published 6 books of poetry,one book of short stories, three electronic novels, one e-book of Haiku. Her poetry has been published in several international publications. Rita is Co-Editor of International Haiku. Her haiku and haiga artwork are featured in her Catching The Moment blog.


  1. Judge's (Cezar Florin Ciobica's) comment, which can be accessed

    I was genuinely moved by this poem. It seems to be a few lines from the diary of woman who suffers profoundly. It is a real story about life after surgery and the struggle for survival. The journey will not be the same... No one can imagine what it is like to have no hope. Cancer is an awful process that makes you to change a lot of things in regard to your entire life. You must completly restore your attitude towards the reality around.

    The spareness in the wording of this poem beautifully mirrors its powerful message. For many women, the loss of a breast diminishes somehow their femininity and sexual attractiveness. The scene with this woman looking at herself in the mirror reveals a painful body. The suffering person may certainly feel a sense of existential vacuum and emptiness. Most of us find ourselves lost for words at such a shocking image. We wonder what to say or not to say. It is terrible because a lot of women perceive breast cancer as an attack against their innate feminine nature, their life seems a curse and their spirituality is so much shaken.

    So, many questions from a simple-looking haiku. Why me? How could God be so unfair? Is there life after surgery? Could someone love me this way I am? Perhaps the woman suffers much more because she would have wanted to be a mother, but the disease has destroyed her dream... This haiku leaves us with the striking image of a woman looking for answers and a way to bring more confidence in her life. The prayer through writing can be the best solution to stop the drain of spiritual energy from the physical body....

    After reading the poem, in our mind remains the heart-rending image of the woman whose desire is to retain her sense of dignity/femininity.

  2. L1 successfully sets up a domestic context, which is one of the most intimate aspects of one's lifeworld, while the use of synaesthesia in Ls 2&3 is emotionally poignant.

    Through her powerful jux., what is not textually reflected in Rita's "bedroom mirror" in asks the reader to fill in/to see beyond the poem text.

    A beautifully-crafted haiku that stirs the reader's emotion and reflection.