A poetry community to which I belong selected one of my haiku for October Poem of the Month. Which obviously brought me joy, but also highlighted how subjective the experience of poetry can be.

A little cuckoo
Echoes from beneath my feet
A cave in winter

The haiku is part of an ongoing series shaped by two rules: an adherence to the more traditional form that includes a season word and a shift in meaning partway through rather than merely the 5-7-5 syllable pattern; and the evocation of the common theme for the series (which I do not state for a reason to come clear later).

What interested me about the responses, all positive, was that comments about the technique noted the traditional aspects whereas none of the comments on its emotional resonance referenced the overarching theme for the series. As a long-time believer in the critical theory that the experience of art sits in the liminal space between work and audience rather than there being a single meaning the artist imbued which some of the audience correctly perceive and others fail to, this did not utterly surprise me.

However, it did make me wonder whether a different context might produce different perspectives: the poetry community, those who have crossed over into my other social media aside, experience me as a poet; what might those who experience a broader range of my life and art see?

Would any of you care to suggest what the theme might be and where the haiku references it?

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