Eva Ermenz (Sweden)

first snow
grandchildren folding
origami cranes

Comment: a ku with an original and fresh juxtaposition (toriawase 取り合わせ). While outside the first snow (hatsuyuki 初雪) begins to fall, the poet’s grandchildren have fun folding paper to create little origami cranes. Maybe their imagination leads them to believe that those creatures could possibly come to life and take flight in the gray winter sky; the rapid movements of their hands are therefore associated with the falling snowflakes, making the scene extremely vital and almost frenetic. Origami paper can have different colors and/or textures; the most common type is called kami 紙, which is very thin and usually printed only on one side. We don’t know what kind of paper these children are using (maybe just an ordinary drawing paper), but if we close our eyes we can clearly see many little and colorful cranes lined up behind a snow-white window panel. The lack of any cutting mark (kireji 切れ字) softens the transition of images, as if the poem too had been buried by the snow.

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