night of her death
through our telescope
the moons of Jupiter blur
There are many points of interest in this haiku but i am especially moved by the way it gives life to a moment of profound emotion. While it isn’t explicit whose death is referred to here, it is clear that the feelings involved are deep ones. The word our in reference to the telescope suggests perhaps the telescope belongs to the family and whether viewing the sky on this particular night was done quietly alone or as an activity shared with others, the moment remains a poignant one. Jupiter was the Roman god of the sky and the word Jupiter itself is derived from the Indo-European word for ‘bright, shining sky’1; Jupiter is in fact the brightest object in the night sky after the moon. There is a seamlessness here between the inner world of human consciousness and emotion and the world of space beyond that may at first go unnoticed; the boundaries between the inner and outer worlds are dissolved – the moons of Jupiter blur – and we are reminded again of a deeper unity underlying all things.
First Published: Kokako Haiku Contest 2003, 1st Place
Selection & comments by Simon Hanson