from deep within
the rooster crows –
eye glinting

Janice Bostok


The crowing of a rooster is among the most recognisable of all animal sounds, iconic in rural areas if not always appreciated in the suburbs. There are differing opinions on why roosters crow and the research suggests several not fully understood aspects to this behaviour including: proclaiming territory, warning others of danger, asserting dominance and convincing the hens that his genes are especially desirable – all in all, plenty to set the rooster’s eye glinting.

Arising from instincts deep within the rooster’s nature one cannot help but be impressed with the amount of focussed energy invested in a vigorous bout of crowing. Perhaps it was such an observation that prompted the evocative opening line of this haiku – from deep within. There are dimensions to this behaviour that extend far beyond our individual rooster, for the behaviour of birds involves evolutionary history reaching back through eons. Perhaps it is also this window into deep time that the poet had in mind when writing this poem.

Ever proactive in promoting his gene pool and driven by urges as deep as life, the rooster has become something of a universal fertility symbol. This brings us again to the wonderful last line . . . eye glinting. So much is contained in these two words as well as hinting at a glorious caricature the reader is free to develop in their own way. The rooster does indeed have much to crow about.


White Heron: The Authorised Biography of Australia’s Pioneering Haiku Writer Janice M Bostok by Sharon Dean 2011 can be accessed in The Haiku Foundation Digital Library here.

You might also like to read these comments by Sharon Dean providing some fascinating insights into the personality of Janice Bostok.

Selection and comments by Simon Hanson

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