Midwestern Death Poems

Since I didn’t get to talk about this last week, I’ll talk about it this week. Theune and Austin collaborated on a collection of haiku, based on a collection of poems called Japanese Death Poems. They are really interesting. I’ll share a few here. My favorite is this one:

knot in the wood-
only the fire
can untie it

Not only does this sound really cool, but it brings up an excellent point of language and the awesome turn. We usually don’t associate knots in trees to ones made out of rope, but this poem does in a very clever way. It also brings up a point that tree knots only go away when the rest of the tree dies in flames, unlike rope knots. And if we look at knots as troubles of life: trees carry their troubles and tribulations for their whole lives, ropes are either cut or untie their own. Just something to think about.

the young surgeon
feeling his heartbeat
in the scalpel

the janitor who
no longer
votes lowers the flag

my clarity your
confusion when you
put my glasses on

her wet tissues-
could they be less
like cherry blossoms

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1 Response to Midwestern Death Poems

  1. Evan Johnson says:

    I remember this. Yes a lot of this was very interesting. Some were kinda meh but others were very good. I personally liked the the glasses one. This along with the two sentence horror stories show off the power of turns in literature. I am curious about why you liked the knot one though. It just doesn’t speak to me with meanings as the others. Is it just that you like the word play with the knot?

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