The Heron's Nest

Volume XVII, Number 3: September 2015

Editors' Choices

he casts his line into the first peal of thunder

Matthew Caretti
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Mother's Day—
lilacs fill
the void

Michele L. Harvey
Hamilton, New York

graveyard shift
the leftover radish
tumbles in the lunchbox

Elmedin Kadric
Helsingborg, Sweden

The Heron's Nest Award

he casts his line into the first peal of thunder

Matthew Caretti
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Several possible readings, and an effective use of cutting, make this one-line haiku stand out.

In the first reading, the haiku actually interrupts itself: the "first peal of thunder" cuts in without warning, erasing from the text whatever it is the man was actually casting his line into. We can imagine that the man's fishing trip has been similarly interrupted, and that the storm will end what might have been a quiet day on the river (or lake, or ocean) with the same abruptness that the word "thunder" ends the haiku.

Alternately, it could be that our fisherman is not surprised by the oncoming storm. In this case, his casting his line "into the first peal of thunder" is intentional, an act of defiance against nature. Such a devil-may-care attitude is just as appealing as the abrupt surprise of reading one.

In both readings, the sound of the "peal" functions as a cut, adding imagined space into the poem as we hear both the silence that precedes the thunder and the rumble as it slowly fades away again. Quite a neat technical trick.

Stewart C Baker
September 2015


The Heron's Nest XVII.3 (9-15)

Next Page