Japanese Waka

Name: Min Zhong

On my way home, snow fell on my palm and vanished.

Blue clear night,
White crystal snow,
Vanished without a trace

In the first week of class, professor Inouye showed us a haiku example written by a former student.

A towering tree –
Lover’s names
Now illegible

This Haiku only has three lines of five or seven syllables, but it secretly grasped my feelings. Through these simple words, I could experience the moment that the author tried to create. I felt slightly sad and this sadness was subtle, personal and indescribable. I wondered how these simple words create resonance with readers. Human being and nature are naturally connected. The feelings that images associated with are universally consistent. Cherry blossoms represent spring and snow is for winter. We “understand” the author “because we visualize the moment of the poem’s creation” (Evanescence and Form). Building a connection with the nature might be a first step to understand Japanese Waka and its culture.

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