David Oates (U.S.A.)

first love
the sun strikes
a dusting of snow

Comment: just as love warms the poet’s heart, so the sunlight (hi 日) in line 2 hits the snow (yuki 雪), favoring different suggestions in the reader’s mind. First love (hatsukoi 初恋) is usually selfless and unconditional; it provides us a valuable lesson in life, yet it’s rarely destined to last over time, just like snow itself, which slowly fades as the first spring warm comes. The verb ‘strike’ gives the idea of a powerful, unexpected hit, favoring the development of a juxtaposition which is delicate (karui 軽い) and disruptive at the same time. The subtlety of the feeling expressed by the author is nicely reflected by the repetition of the sound ‘s’ in the second ku.

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