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open sky :: SAMVAAD | 17th September

hosts : Sanjuktaa Asopa & Kashiana Singh


fermented berries –

the lilt

in the waxwing’s song

- Pamela Cooper


( Honourable mention in the 2023 Betty Drevniok Award )

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6 Comments


marilyn ashbaugh
marilyn ashbaugh
Sep 23, 2023

Thank you for the enjoyable ku and backstory! I will remember this whenever I see a waxwing.

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When I first read this poem, I had associated it with autumn, maybe because of the 'berries' (which is an autumn kigo),in line 1. Pamela's backstory places it in spring though. But whatever be the season, that does not take away the musicality and lightness of this verse. Here is Pamela Cooper telling us about the birthing of this ku.


I had written the haiku a few years ago, upon hearing about how some birds can actually become giddy after consuming fermented berries! Some months later, I attended a Mardi Gras celebration (where much drinking had taken place) and where, when the all the noise and music had died down, I then heard some high-pitched trills and whistles, coming fro…

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
Sep 22, 2023
Replying to

Thank you!

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
Sep 18, 2023

Loved the juxtaposition of senses. Very light yet one that takes us along the image.

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There is a very human element here. Even birds get tipsy. So joyful and light.

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