A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2007, vol 3 no 4

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Hortensia Anderson



According to Greek legend, the wood god Pan fell unrequitedly in love with the maiden nymph Syrinx. Because of her devotion to Artemis, goddess of the moon and the hunt, Syrinx escaped him by having the river nymphs turn the virgin into a marsh reed. In desolation, Pan fashioned a pipe from reeds on the riverbank, his consolation a melancholy song.

"Syrinx", the solo piece for flute by Claude Debussy, debuted in 1913 Paris. The original score is without barlines or breathmarks allowing for unprecedented variations in interpretation.

As I polish my flute to silvery light, I recall the myth, wondering if Pan waits in darkness for my first breath.

moonlit night—
a deer bounds into green
forest shadows