Sunday, December 28, 2014

Butterfly Dream: Loneliness Haiku by George Swede

English Original

leaving my loneliness     inside her

micro haiku: three to nine syllables, 2014

George Swede

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

留下我的孤独    在她的體內

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

留下我的孤独    在她的体内

Bio Sketch

George Swede's most recent collections of haiku are Almost Unseen (Decatur, IL: Brooks Books, 2000), Joy In Me Still (Edmonton: Inkling Press, 2010) and micro haiku: three to nine syllables (Inspress, 2014). He is a former editor of Frogpond: Journal of the Haiku Society of America (2008-2012) and a former Honorary Curator of the American Haiku Archives (2008-2009).


  1. First of all, typographically speaking, the "physical space" between "leaving my loneliness" and "inside her" creates a rhythmic break or pause (caesura), intended to have a psychological impact and thus opening up an "interpretative space" for the reader to co-author the poem.

    Secondly, technically speaking, this is a good example of using the kire (cutting) that cuts a haiku from this reality within which one lives -- from the literal place/environment/atmosphere (ba) of literal existence -- is called “zengo no kire.”

    It successfully demonstrates one of the most important aesthetic characteristics of Japanese short form poetry -- "ma."

    And finally, thematically speaking, this haiku reminds me of the sex portrayed in Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being."

    Sex is merely the meeting of two lonely bodies,

    For more info. about cutting and ma, see my "To the Lighthouse" posts, titled "Cutting through Time and Space" ( and "Re-examining the Concept and Practice of Cutting" (