Summer’s End

The following poem first appeared in Geppo XLIII:3, May–July 2018, page 3, and was selected for commentary in the following issue, XLIII:4, August–October 2018, page 13.

        summer’s end—
        my old record player
        skipping

The end of a season (summer; the end of an era—78s, maybe?). This haiku is about nostalgia—nostalgia for a time that was and is now ending, be it the end of a season or the end of an era. The skipping record reminds us that even though we have fond memories of the past, the time that was had its flaws as do our memories.
—Patricia J. Machmiller

The end of summer is the time when we have mixed feelings, a little fatigue from the activities we’ve done and a relief of having cool air again. The skipping of the old record player is a nice image to express those feelings. “The Blue Danube Waltz”?
—Emiko Miyashita

“End” and “old” come together for me here. I do wonder, though, if “old” is needed. Most record players tend to be old, or at least older, nowadays. The point is the record player seems to have already reached its peak, much like the things of the world do in relation to summer.
—Kyle Sullivan

My Response

Keeping “old” in “my old record player” is essential to me not just for the rhythm of the line but for the overtone of endearment. It’s not just a record player that’s “old” but a treasured possession, referred to in the manner that one refers to the “good old days,” perhaps also suggesting that I’ve had a long and fond relationship with that record player, and all the music I played on it. I still have my record player.
—18 May 2020