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open sky :: SAMVAAD | 21st January

hosts : Sanjuktaa Asopa & Aparna Pathak

whittling pine

I release the shape

of its scent

- John Hawkhead

( Cold Moon Journal, Nov '21;Per Diem Feb, '22)

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Thank you all for your responses. John Hawkhead has a wonderful commentary on his poem:

I originally wrote this as a memory of my teenage years when every boy had a penknife and whittled away bark from sticks - usually in my case to make miniature 'totem poles'. So in this poem the synaesthesia is not just about the scent of the wood being released, but the transition from boyhood into adulthood; a change taking place where the world becomes a different place to what it was before. On a straightforward level this is about how all our senses work to perceive our surroundings and our focus, but it also aims to describe how we become transformed by the world…


I love this haiku, the way the senses are invoked by the sound, scent and shape - lovely.


I can see, hear and smell. Beautiful ku.


Love the way it plays with the senses as Alan said. The space left for the reader is spread across smell, sight, and the subject being whittling, touch, so I'm drawn to rereading the haiku.

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