Thursday, February 4, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Creek Haiku by Polona Oblak

English Original

estranged friend
a boulder by the creek
entwined with roots

Modern Haiku, 44:3, Fall 2013

Polona Oblak

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Polona Oblak lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia. For 40 odd years Polona thought she had no talent for writing. Then she discovered haiku. Her haiku and occasional tanka are widely published and a handful appeared in anthologies such as The Red Moon Anthology and Take Five.

1 comment:

  1. Polona effectively employs the second type of cutting (a discrimination set up within a haiku between a "this" ["estranged" friend] opposed to a "that" [a boulder...
    "entwined" with roots]to open up an interpretative space for the reader's imagination. And the visually evocative and symbolically rich closing line adds emotional weight and psychological depth to the poem.

    Below is excerpted from my "To the Lighthouse" post, titled "Three Formulations about the Use of Cutting," which can be accessed at

    Type II Formulation:

    …The more complex uses of kireji that come into prominence later on break down this linguistically confined structure of the sentence unit in favor of freer poetic play across the gap made by ya, other cutting-words, or syntactic breaks which cleave the poem in two …

    Later in the seventeenth century when Danrin poets formulated their ideas about kireji, the discussion might be presented in terms of Yin-Yang metaphysics or simply in terms of a discrimination set up within a hokku between a "this" opposed to a "that." A work from 1680 put it in a refreshingly slangy way:

    The kireji is that which clearly expresses a division of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang mean the existence of an interesting confrontation within a poem (okashiku ikku no uchi ni arasoi aru o iu nari). For instance, something or other presented in a hokku is that?-no, it's not that but this, etc. 46

    Eisenstein, circa 1929, would have replaced Yin with thesis and Yang with antithesis and cast the whole matter in the mold of his peculiar dialectic, but he would certainly have gone along with this Japanese poet's notion of arasoi, "confrontation." "By what, then, is montage characterized and, consequently, its cell -- the shot?" he asked himself in "The Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram." "By collision. By the conflict of two pieces in opposition to each other. By conflict. By collision." And the phrases of hokku were, he insisted, "montage phrases," and hence they generated their meaning by a like dynamic process. 47