Thursday, September 8, 2011


Svetlana Marisova, the Russian poet from New Zealand, passed away yesterday, finally losing the battle to inoperable brain tumour. Though I had known Svetlana very briefly, only through Facebook...she had sent a friend request and added very graciously, "I have always wanted to know you"...yet I always admired and loved her poetry which belied a maturity far beyond her years. The experts would tell how sound her technique was and how she understood the zoka (of which i know nothing about) , but what struck me was their depth and always that sadness, that shadow of death which had surprised me at first, before i knew about the nature of her illness and later the intrepid manner in which she faced death.

Svetlana was a much loved poet in the haiku community and many have written loads of poetry for her in the past few weeks. But for me, the best way to remember her today would be through her own poetry.

miss august
curls at the edges...
end of summer

This was the last one she had posted on NaHaiWriMo on 1st August, only days before she slipped into a coma.

And some others,

in my brain...
a death watch beetle
marks time

pearl diving...
haiku and tumours
from the depths

in the wind
what might have been...
sleepless moon

the distance
between dusk and dawn...
deep waters

summer surf -
within its sound
I am sea

bitter spring -
not all ducks
are paired

And finally the last entry that was found in her notebook:

godwit's flight...
light disappearing
with the sun

She had been feeling homesick and wanted to come back to New Zealand from Russia where she had been undergoing treatment, but unfortunately couldn't complete the journey.

Svetlana was only 21.
Rest in peace, Svetlana. May you find oneness with the wind, the sea, this universe.

1 comment:

Aankhi said...

Very very sad...her haiku brought tears to my eyes...