Agus Maulana Sunjaya (Indonesia)

after words after words
plum blossom

Comment: a ku that uses the repetition (kurikaeshi 繰り返し) figure of speech to convey a wide range of feelings and suggestions (boredom, excitement, disillusionment, etc.). The words flow in lines 1-2 creates an incessant movement that fills up the whole scene, thus catalyzing the reader’s attention and making him/her wonder what those words refer to. This also makes the juxtaposition (toriawase 取り合わせ) and the resulting change of perspective even more effective, by shifting the focus to a previously ignored aspect: a single, motionless plum blossom (ume no hana 梅の花) anchored to the branch. A game of movements and breaks that partially aligns with an inverted form of johakyū 序破急 (‘prelude, breakaway and presto’). Please note that plum blossoms symbolize ‘perseverance and hope, as well as beauty thriving in adverse circumstances’ (The Present Tree), thus making the closing line even more meaningful.

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