Chenou Liu


Thirteen Crows Haiku


thirteen crows
on a telephone wire
garden wedding

Submitted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Edited: Saturday, September 29, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Editor's Choice Haiku
'wedding / bride' Haiku Thread, Sketchbook,7: 3, May/June 2012


John Daleiden's Comment:

The line three fragment sets the wedding in a garden; the line one and two phrase provides the perspective of 'thirteen crows / on a telephone wire'. This descriptive phrase may be an intentional literary reference to Wallace Stevens' haiku like poem, 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird'. Or is it an accidental association of this reader? ...And why the number 'thirteen'...and why 'crows'? As a number 13 has the ambigious quality of being considered both lucky and unlucky considering the belief and interpretation rendered. Equally mystifying is the presence of 'crows' in the scene. 'Crows' have been used as images to convey a multitude of meanings, often conflicting. Perhaps that is the very point—just as 'thirteen' and 'crows' are enigmatic so too is a wedding enigmatic.


Bernard Gieske's Comment:

Chen-ou Liu reminds us that the future promised may not turn out as expected. This haiku, though, seems a bit stronger than just a reminder with13 crows present. No bride and groom would want to proceed under these circumstances, but love is a very strong influence, often overcoming all odds. This wedding takes place in a garden and, at first, I misread it as 'garden weeding', a garden being invaded by weeds. Here the newlyweds are reminded that they cannot expect their marriage to be problem free. There will be weeds in the garden and these will need to be dealt with, hopefully, with that 'tender touch' of the previous haiku.

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