Home for Christmas: Appreciation of English Haiku

        by Emiko Miyashita

Published on the Haiku International Association website in 2005. See also “Home for Christmas.” 

        home for Christmas:
        my childhood desk drawer

We begin with a Christmas phrase, from Michael Dylan Welch, vice president of the Haiku Society of America this year [2005]. It is one of my favorite poems in the 1999 edition of The Haiku Anthology, compiled by Cor van den Heuvel. Michael is a haiku poet living near Seattle, and I think he is busy preparing for the Haiku North America conference, which will be held in Port Townsend, a port city about sixty miles north of Seattle, from September 21 to 25 this year. I’m also going to participate in a panel discussion to discuss North American haiku. If you’re interested, check out the Haiku North America website for more information.
        Now, I want to start appreciating this poem. In this poem I see myself going back to my parents’ house for the Christmas holidays and finding the desk I used as a child. When I open the drawer gently, it is empty inside. I think this is a scene that everyone can remember. You can receive a lot from this empty moment. It is a poem that helps you taste the reader’s life repeatedly. The time since Michael left home, the memories of his childhood, and all the invisible things must have been jammed into that drawer.

        home for Christmas:                           クリスマスで家に戻っている
        my childhood desk drawer                  僕の子供時代の机の抽
        empty                                                  空っ

The first line ends with a cut, using a colon at the end of “home for Christmas.” This is like the “ya” of the kireji cut character [used in Japanese], and it presents a strong image. The poet has just returned home to celebrate Christmas.
        The second and third lines offer another image. Here, I gradually focus on the drawer of my childhood desk and the image of a desk in my house.
        And finally, there is a surprise of emptiness. Was the author disappointed? Or do you remember your childhood nostalgically when it’s already gone?
        The interpretation of this “emptiness” is up to you. I feel a little pain, but I also feel like I’ve become an adult. I think the atmosphere of Christmas is very good.

クリスマスで家に戻っている: 英語ハイクの鑑賞

        home for Christmas:
        my childhood desk drawer

いきなりクリスマスの句で始まりましたが、これは Michael Dylan Welch (今年はアメリカハイク協会の副会長も務めています。シアトル在住の俳人です)の作品で Cor van den Heuvel 編纂の『The Haiku Anthology 1999 年版に出ている私の大好きな句の一つです。マイケルは、今年の9月21日から25日まで西海岸シアトルの北60マイルほどの港町ポートタウンゼントで開催されます北米ハイク大会の準備に忙しくしている頃だと思います。私も「北米ハイクの行方」を話し合うパネルディスカッションに参加の予定です。ご興味の在る方は Haiku North America のホームページで詳細をお確かめください。

        home for Christmas:                          クリスマスで家に戻っている:
        my childhood desk drawer                 僕の子供時代の机の抽斗
        empty                                                 空っぽ

一行目は「home for Christmas:」のようにコロンで切れています。コロンは切れ字の「や」のようにきっぱりと切りますので、ここで一塊のイメージが提示されています。クリスマスを祝うために家に戻ってきたところです。