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First prize of World haiku review, Pune 1-3 February 2019. The comment by Susumu Takiguchi, the president of jury.

About my winning poem (first prize of World haiku review, Pune 1-3 February 2019) here is the comment by Susumu Takiguchi, the president of jury. I am really moved for his valuable and deep comment and his consideration.

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TRIVENI World Haiku Utsav 2019, Savitribai Phule Pune University,

Pune, India, 1-3 February 2019

fallen leaves
the lost time
of another life
~
Eufemia Griffo

COMMENTS by Susumu Takiguchi

Many of the good entries for this year’s R. H. Blyth Award (Haiku) have demonstrated rather dark and anxious themes. It may perhaps be a reflection of the dark and anxious time we live in today. However, at any time in our history we have always had wars, illnesses, old age problems, massacres and existentialist anxieties. If we could ask people long dead in the medieval time or in the 19th century or whenever it was, they could have answered, “Well, to be honest our situation is much worse than yours. You are absolutely lucky.”

And it is a good thing that more than a handful of haiku poets are honest and brave enough to deal with these difficult subjects. This is one of the conspicuous characteristics of the R. H. Blyth Award this year. We had an enormous number of submissions from across the world and the selection job proved to be three times or four times as big as usual.

Some of them even enquire, deep inside us, into our inability to cope with these formidable challenges. Their haiku are therefore about our perplexity, self-doubt, resignation, loss of identity, direction or hope, disillusionment and despair. The Award-winning haiku has come out as the finest example of honest haiku by those facing up to this human frailty.

In only eight plain words, it reaches a universal truth, depicts an inconvenient fact with detachment and creates a resigned observation of the seemingly unending cycle of life and death and the human predicament of being at the mercy of it.

The layers of fallen leaves hide many realities as they decay and die. They may be completely ignored or forgotten until, that is, next time leaves fall again. Our lives follow the same natural pattern. And death hides all the vicissitudes of each of our lives. Its long, long story now looks but a momentary memory of our time lost. We are all therefore condemned to repeat the same search in perpetuity as in À la recherche du temps perdu.

The author is an Italian writer, poet, teacher and haijin, living in Milano.

https://sites.google.com/…/whr-march-20…/the-r-h-blyth-award

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