Wow, another haiku poem that raises and sets me pondering philosophical issues. Or should I say, "confronting" those issues. Because the "mirror" mentioned in the work confronts us all every day, with apparent certainty. Who am I? What face do I present to the world? And for that matter, what is "the world"? This is literally an "existential" haiku!
This poem seems to deliberately set up an echo to Descartes' famous "Cogito ergo sum" – "I think therefore I am". For me, Lynne Rees appears to be challenging me to recognize that our other mirrors may also be "tinted". How do we know? What do we think? What do we believe about the world?
What we "believe" about ourself, our appearance, we usually judge by means of a mirror – even though intellectually we "know" of course that everything is in reverse. So when shown a picture of ourself in a photograph we experience with something like shock the revelation of what we "really" look like.
So for me, this poem is almost like a zen zazen, a challenge – and also a means – to balance our left and right brains. Our left hemisphere breaks reality into pieces – like shards of glass; it focuses on and manipulates "facts" and "data". The right hemisphere by contrast works to integrate these into wholes; into fully comprehensible pictures of reality. So which side of the mirror is real?
This poem leaves me unsettled. There is no final answer. Like those parallel mirrors in which I see myself reflected endlessly into the distance, this poem, and these philosophical questions, recur endlessly. The writing and the reading, the poet and the reader, are the mirror images. Which side knows? Which side believes?
Thanks so much for the thoughtful commentary, Strider, A response like this is something every writer hopes for – but to have it articulated and shared is a bonus. I think it's always a risk to edge towards philosophy in such a short poem but perhaps I felt more comfortable in allowing this one to pass into the public gaze because it did arise from an actual experience/thought process. Again – I really appreciate you taking the time to explore the haiku. 'Ah, wonderful' back at you.