Teiichi Suzuki (Japan)

A-bomb Day
on her parasol
vapor trail

Comment: a haiku written on the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, occurred on August 6 and 9, 1945 respectively. The event caused the direct and immediate death of nearly 200,000 people, most of whom were civilians. The ‘vapor trail’ (hikōkigumo 飛行機雲) rising from the parasol in the last ku clearly refers to the radioactive vapors emitted by the atomic bomb (genbaku 原爆), which continued to claim victims several months (and years) after it was dropped, causing horrible and painful burns, tumors and radiation sickness. The ‘parasol’ (higasa 日傘) places the poem in an actual summer context, thus creating a bridge between past and present and encouraging the reader to keep those memories alive in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Note the double hyphen (, ie the kireji 切れ字) placed at the end of line 1, which can either represent the two bombings or an interrupted morse signal.

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