The Autumn Wind

April 6, 2011by

I heard this haiku on PRI earlier this week, written by a listener in response to a request for poems on the financial crisis. Since I can’t locate it online, it is reproduced here from memory. While it doesn’t seem to fit the syllabic requirements of a classical haiku, it certainly captures something of the Japanese experience mono-no-aware; and it’s a hilarious image for anyone who might not have the most pleasant or effective boss.

My old boss talks to
an empty cubicle.
The autumn wind.

If you’re not familiar with the idiom mono-no-aware, it is described in Christopher J. Moore’s In Other Words as “…that poignant sensation one has of time passing, of the inevitable cycle of life and death.” “…it’s that bittersweet, vaguely poetic feeling you get around dusk, on a long train journey, looking out at the driving rain…a few autumn leaves still clinging to your coat.” For a beautiful audio-visual depiction, check out this song and video from Hammock:

Citation via In Other Words p. 87.