Francesco Palladino (Italy)

ice on the moon
summer night

Comment: a short two-line ku (7 syllables only) emphasizing a sensory contrast that is made even more incisive by the very structure of the poem (kōzō 構造) and by the lack of any punctuation mark (kireji 切れ字). Summer nights (natsu no yo 夏の夜), in Italy, are quite sweltering, especially in the valleys and plains of the hinterland, where temperatures may not drop below 25 °C; for this reason, the image of the ‘ice on the moon’ must be particularly pleasing to the poet, who finds shelter from the oppressive heat by refreshing his eyes and mind.
Speaking of ‘moon’ (tsuki 月), NASA confirmed on August 20, 2018 that ice samples were found in its polar regions, therefore hypothesizing the existence of microorganisms and bacteria; in my view, this is an aspect that makes this haiku even more fascinating.

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