drifting snow
each of the war dead
has their story

2 Responses

  1. Alan Summers Says:

    drifting snow
    each of the war dead
    has their story

    —Marianne Paul

    A winter counter poem to Matsuo Bashō's summer grasses hokku:


    松尾 芭蕉
    Matsuo Bashō

    late June 1689

    夏草 = summer grass 兵 = soldier 夢 = dream 跡 = remain

    Romanised version “Romaji”:
    natsukusa ya tsuwamonodomo ga yume no ato


    summer grass soldiers only dreams remain

    Version in English: Alan Summers

    The opening line of drifting snow as it segues into 'each of the war dead' is deeply poignant, from the famous brief Christmas trench warfare truce of World War II to Battle of the Bulge (WWII), in December 1944 with around 8 inches of snow (on the ground) and an average temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit (about minus 7 C.

    And then move forward to Afganistan's 20th and 21st Century winter battles with soldiers from Russia, UK, America, and many other places, and Yugoslavia when President Tito died, and Croatian snow turned red, then into Russia invading Ukraine where bodies lined the winter streets, mothers, children, other non-combatants, and ongoing wars and invasions.

    They all have or had a story to tell before, during, and after the snow ceased drifting, and piling up, and eventually gave into Spring melt.

    Deeply moving haiku, already a classic.

    kindest regards,
    Alan Summers
    founder, Call of the Page

  2. Tom Clausen Says:

    This is a powerful and poignant haiku tribute to every 'fallen' soldier and their life story cut short and likely to have never been told beyond those in their family and friendship circle. It makes the madness of war all the more absurd and heartbreaking to think of war after war claiming lives and their 'story'.
    There just needs to be a much more devoted path for humanity to figure out peaceful mediations in all these senseless devastating wars.

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