I breathe in
Commentary by Jim Kacian:
Everything about this poem is charming: who does not welcome a sea breeze? And what is so winsome as a foreign accent (at least when we deem it so)? And what astute reader does not appreciate that slight slip from “breeze” to “breathe” that is at the heart of this poem? So many elements have been piled up to beguile us.
But the poem is not about charm, but foreignness: what can it mean to “breathe in” an accent? We might convince ourselves we know what the poet intends, but in fact it’s impossible to be certain. Doesn’t the poem, then, enact itself? This seamless and streamlined packet of words slips by us before we hardly have time to think. We rely upon its charm — trust it, even — to steer us through that which cannot be fully comprehended, to bring us face to face with what we might not be willing to face if we were to think it through. Breathe in an accent? Charming… and then what? So much implicit in a little dalliance beside the sea…
Eighth Edition of The Haiku Contest
Sharpening The Green Pencil 2019