Like an affair with
a half-remembered lover
I wouldn’t say I’m
happy that it’s over;
but rather that
I no longer
my heart is light.
© Experimentsinfiction 2020, All Rights Reserved
Frank hosts at dVerse tonight, and he has asked us to write a Jisei, or death poem, celebrating the onset of the northern winter. I wouldn’t say I’m ever happy to see the end of summer, but I am trying to not be so reliant on the sunlight to give me happiness. There is also a light within.
Fascinatingly, it was traditional for Japanese poets to write a Jisei on their death bed: a philosophical look back at life, referring to death without directly mentioning it. Kamikaze pilots also did this before going into battle, which is how this form of poetry became known in the West. I hope when my time comes, I am as willing to let go as the narrator of this poem.
Traditional Jisei would take the form of a Tanka, roughly equivalent in syllabic terms to 5-7-5-7-7, but I didn’t stick to that format as the words didn’t flow that way for me.