Today’s Haiku (March 3, 2011)

春の夜のテールランプと民主主義   小野裕三

haru no yo no têru rampu to minshu-shugi

            spring night

            tail lights

            and democracy

                                                Yuzo Ono

from “ChôShinsen 21” ,  (“Super New Selection 21,” an anthology of the haiku poets under 50-year-olds) edited by Bansei Tsukushi, Yasuko Tsushima, Leona Takayama, You-shorin, Nagano, Japan, December 2010

4 responses to “Today’s Haiku (March 3, 2011)

  1. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    This is a curious haiku, and a few words of your feeling about it Fay would help. We all can feel the spring night…and tail lights leaves little doubt as to something passing… But there are so many ideas about democracy and what it is and what it can mean and what effect it has on each individual that the haiku leaves me hanging… And perhaps that’s the idea? What is everyone fighting about anyway? The spring night and the tail lights are all passing away… but what is left?

  2. Perhaps democracy is passing, too?
    Maybe it’s a comment on Obama . . .

  3. willie: I do not think this is a comment on Obama (you made me chuckle).

    For me, this is not about ‘democracy.’ I interpret this one as a love haiku. Maybe I am influenced by a popular song in Japan with lylycis something like ‘he flashes tail lamps of his motorcycle on and off five times to tell me he loves me.’ Japanese ‘I love you’ is five syllables (or ‘onji.’)
    A poet of this haiku is male. Him watching the tail lamp of a vehicle which carries away his lover makes me wonder what he means by ‘democracy.’ He decided leaving her because she is married, so he would not disturbe her life any more? This can be very wild and ‘OFF’ interpretation, but I like this haiku and a reader should interpret anyway he/she prefers.

  4. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    Fay, Thanks so much for the background. I wonder if he’s going off to fight some war for democracy and has to leave his love? It could be a very profound haiku in that context.

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