diner mirror myselves ordering second coffees

Marietta McGregor


Mirror, mirror . . . the looking glass, the reflecting pool and reflections generally have a long history in myth, legend and fairytales and frequently appear in poetry, art, film and literature; old and new.  The mirror is often presented as a portal into other realms, natural and supernatural and as a window to the truth. I am reminded here of childhood times in the barber’s chair with a mirror on the wall before me and one behind prompting my first wonderings of the infinite . . . Rich in symbolism and suggestion beyond the scope of this discussion – suffice to say our fascination with mirrors adds greatly to the aesthetic appeal and intrigue of this haiku. Reference to second coffees rather than the singular, coffee, resonates with the idea of reflection as do the double f and double e in the word coffee itself.  The word  myselves makes a most interesting plural in this context and effectively opens up spaces where we might contemplate notions of the self and its many layers. Occasionally one hears criticism of today’s youth along the lines of being self-obsessed, they are after all the selfie generation, but like Narcissus’ frequent visits to the river to gaze upon his beautiful reflection it might be telling if we could calculate the sum total hours we have spent before a mirror; what is it i wonder we are wanting to see . . .
A fascinating and well written haiku.

First Published: Under the Basho, 2015

Selection & comments by Simon Hanson

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