Saturday, August 01, 2020

Poetry Friday -- Open to Interpretation

if it's a bow
its string is pulled taut...
summer field

弓と弦なら弓を引け夏の原
yumi [to] tsuru nara yumi wo hike natsu no hara

"A haiku about hunting. Issa paints us a picture (disturbing for the animals in the field and, I think, to Issa too) of every bowstring pulled back, a notched arrow ready to fly." --David Gerard



David Gerard goes with a literal interpretation of this haiku. I see it figuratively -- that brief moment when everything is ripe and full, or any moment when you're holding your breath, waiting to see what will happen. Based on my interpretation, here are a few versions I would propose:


if it's a bow
its string is pulled taut...
return to school plan


if it's a bow
its string is pulled taut...
thunderstorm


if it's a bow
its string is pulled taut...
cat in the window


What's your take on this haiku? I hope you'll share your version in the comments.

Catherine has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Reading to the Core.

12 comments:

  1. from individuals I shared your prompt with--

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    my fashion statement

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    the ump calls "play ball"

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    the blank notebook opens

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    the blinking cursor

    and my version:

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    nerves of steel

    Thank you for another poetic invitation, Mary Lee. Looking forward to reading others and continuing to think on this prompt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh! I love all of these, but especially the blank notebook and the nerves of steel! Thanks for your interpretations (and for sharing the prompt)!

      Delete
  2. Be safe, be safe, be safe!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like your more positive (well, sorta) interpretation.


    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    doorway


    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    microphone


    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    protest


    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    say his name


    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    runway

    Thanks for the simple invitation, Mary Lee. Sending healthy thoughts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oof! You wrote some zingers. I'm not sure I can even pick a favorite. Maybe protest.

      Delete
  4. My feelings today at this moment go with your first one. There are so many good examples already in the comments.
    I sent an email in support of pushing back the start of school to school board members.

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    hit send



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Touche.
      We need to get our board to agree to push our start date back, too.

      Delete
  5. Wow....Sometimes, I'm just blown over with the intensity a few words can have on me, on readers.

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut
    God is nigh

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut
    all won or all lost

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut
    children are at risk

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut
    silence says the most

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are all so good, Linda! I'm feeling the "children (and teachers!!) are at risk" one the most.

      Delete
  6. I like your interpretation, Mary Lee. For some reason it makes me think of the beginning of Tuck Everlasting: When "the first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in it's turning."

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut
    each choice a catch-22

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for inviting us into this haiku Mary Lee, I wonder what that "cat in the window" thinks about "return to school plan"

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    Artemis ponders…

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    meditate

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    listen

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    speak

    if it's a bow
    its string is pulled taut...
    dive in

    ReplyDelete

We welcome your contribution to the conversation!