For my last challenge for the Year of the Volunteer badge, I wrote a poem.  The challenge is supposed to take 2 hours, and it may not seem like this is long enough to have taken that long, but it did.

Mostly because I tried to adhere to all of the rules on haiku – cutting words, seasonal references and so on, and also to make it work in both English and Japanese.  Of course, that is in addition to making it reflect how I am feeling at the moment.

Winter Like a Knife (English)
Winter like a knife / cutting deep beneath my skin / providing solace

The Japanese is not an exact translation, of course, but it gets the point across.  For those who wonder, the Japanese is pronounced:

fuyu naifu
fukaku kiru keri
iyashi suru

Some of those words don’t translate very well, but roughly:

winter knife
cutting deeply (sudden awareness of something with sense of wonder)
to heal/soothe/give solace

The seasonal reference “Winter” is supposed to give a sense of seclusion and bleakness.  The “keri” in the Japanese is the kireji or cutting word, meant to separate the two portions of the poem and invite the reader to examine their interdependencies.  It doesn’t have an exact replica in the English version.

This haiku will make most sense to anyone who knows what I was doing a couple of weeks before Christmas.


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