Haiku is an awakening of the spirit – away from technocratic rationality, away from the sophistication, attention-seeking and glitter. Back to basics. Our time is in need of simplicity. ~ Herman Van Rompuy, European Union President, haiku poet ~ There are day to day miracles happening outside the classroom. Get kids into wild areas where Nature does the teaching, affecting students in ways that stick with them for the rest of their lives. ~ KarstenHeurer, explorer, wildlife biologist, author~ The way we see the world, shapes the way we treat it. ~ David Suzuki, Canadian environmentalist, educator, author~
Haiku is… • More than a form of poetry • A way to read the text of the world by responding to nature, including human nature • Can teach us about the connections between ourselves & the environment • A moment of introspection
Definition of Haiku • A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience. It is what is happening in the “now.” • English haiku are traditionally written on three lines in a 5/7/5 pattern. These three lines are composed by juxtaposing two images together. • A haiku attempts to capture an “aha” moment. It is the moment, rather than the syllables, that matter most!
Haiku Samples – Traditional & Modern each time the wind blows the butterfly finds a new home on the willow ~Basho~ a face in the darkness cellphone glow ~Ruth Holzer~ first date letting her put snow down my neck ~Michael Dylan Welch~ lingering in every pool of water spring sunlight ~Issa~ cold moon – three stalks of bamboo among the withered trees ~Buson~ snow on black hoodies the boys scarf back lunch ~Pearl Pirie~
How to write Haiku… • A haiku lets you express yourself in ways you never thought possible. • Most poets don’t use capital letters at the beginning of lines of haiku. • Haiku do not rhyme. • Show, don’t tell.
A haiku is similar to a photograph, for it “freezes” a moment, yet there is a difference, it makes us see things in a way that we never thought of them before. • Haiku depends on the five senses – smell, taste, hear, touch, see. • Haiku consists mostly of two images put together to create harmony, contrast, emotions, depth.
Haiku Techniques • Comparison • Contrast • Association • Mystery • Narrowing the Focus • The sketch • Focus on the senses
Comparison a sky full of stars how improbable my parents would meet ~Robert Mainone~ thedailygreen.com A “sky full of stars” is compared to the “meeting of parents” and the million-to-one chance of that happening. The poet achieved an “aha” moment with the connection.
Comparison Exercises • Use the poet’s first two lines, add a third line of your own. • Compose a haiku that compares two things you like. • Compose a haiku that compares two things you don’t like. a sky full of stars how improbable my parents would meet ~Robert Mainone~
Contrast Gelled hair Perfectly in place His anarchy t-shirt ~Angela Leuck~ The poet is contrasting the images of hair perfectly in place & a t-shirt that is advertising the idea of complete disorder. The humour is found in juxtaposing these two opposing “styles.”
Contrast Exercises • Use the poet’s first two lines, add a third line of your own. • Compose a haiku that contrasts your personality with a friend’s. • Compose a haiku that contrasts you with your mother/father/sibling. Gelled hair Perfectly in place His anarchy t-shirt ~Angela Leuck~
Association endless scales on the neighbour’s flute – my mother’s ironing ~Dorothy Howard~ The “endless scales” from the flute of the poet’s neighbour is reminding her the mother’s endless chore of ironing. She associates the drudgery of scales practice with the drudgery of a household chore.
Association Exercises • Using the poet’s model, compose a haiku that associates something you own with lyrics of a favorite song. • Compose a haiku that associates a particular place with the weather. • Compose a haiku that associates a mood with a school subject. endless scales on the neighbour’s flute – my mother’s ironing ~Dorothy Howard~
Mystery summer afternoon… the first drops of rain on my bare feet ~Stanford M. Forrester~ A moment that takes your breath away. Feeling that first drop of rain, happy to be alive, outdoors, on a summer’s day. The poet is happy to be a part of the mystery of nature & life – the poet is refreshed by nature.
Grant D. Savage’s Season Haikus - AUTUMN silent woods my fart flushes a grouse no snow yet trying to make angels in the leaf piles early morning pond reflected in the stillness everything dull evening the only sunset autumn leaves goldenrod fading at the edge of the woods a doe pauses wet dog smell the old newf sleeps unaware of the passing geese
Grant D. Savage’s Season Haikus - WINTER winter wind a leaf rattles through the waterfall’s silence first snow the cat followed everywhere by its footprints unmelted in the dead fox’s fur first snow psych ward moonlight climbs the walls patches of snow moonlight bounds away on a buck’s tail grey evening only an owl’s hoot marks day from night
Grant D. Savage’s Season Haikus - SPRING late afternoon tulips fill with shadows of themselves spring rain finding myself on her to do list spring comes to the old jalopy brand new…rust haze – the distant hills shape the afternoon from reed to reed a blackbird follows it’s song approaching storm showers me with white blossoms
Grant D. Savage’s Season Haikus - SUMMER light in the wings of the shadow of a dragonfly bright morning left clinging to a reed dragonfly’s old self releasing a bass its cool into the river’s cool hiss of rain onions sizzle as they hit the pan a red letter day both rabbit and groundhog eating my weeds night of no moon now and then a ripple of loon laughter
Mystery Exercises • Using the poet’s first line, compose two new lines to express an “ordinary” event from everyday life that might take place on a summer’s day. • Write a haiku about the natural world, remembering moments from the seasons. SPRING: blossoms, tadpoles, April Fool’s day SUMMER: mosquitos, fly swatter, fireworks AUTUMN: heat wave, pumpkins, falling leaves, harvest moon WINTER: frost, hail, icicles, New Year’s Day summer afternoon… the first drops of rain on my bare feet ~Stanford M. Forrester~
Narrowing the focus in the meadow the cow’s lips wet with grass ~Penny Harter~ Writing with an ‘artist’s eye.’ Start with a wide angle lens on the first line, switch to a normal lens for the second line, & zoom in for a close up in the third line.
Narrowing the focus Exercises • Use the wide angle lens technique to compose a haiku about a city street, a lake in the woods, your own backyard. Start wide & gradually focus on one object. in the meadow the cow’s lips wet with grass ~Penny Harter~
Narrowing the focus Exercises • Conversely, begin with a small image & move outward. tattoed neck of the stranger next to me bridge graffiti ~Terry Ann Carter~
The sketch on the bus the teenage pulls out a mirror and adjusts her pout ~George Swede~ Writing simply what catches your eye (often with a little humour). The poet is not contrasting images or comparing images or associating images. There is no seasonal word.
The sketch Exercises • Sketch a scene from the classroom, your dining room, the ride on the bus. on the bus the teenage pulls out a mirror and adjusts her pout ~George Swede~
Focus on the senses koi nibbling my copper wish ~Elizabeth Hetherington~ up a tree among the green apples girl in a red sari ~Angela Leuck~ metallic taste the cold steam spills from my hand ~Jenny Zhang~ shifting shadows deep in the hills a dog barks ~Allison McCrossen~ autumn fog the squeaking brakes of a school bus ~Elizabeth Hetherington~ Sensory details: taste, touch, sight, sound & smell.
Focus on the senses Exercises • Review the example haiku for sensory detail: a metallic taste, a barking dog, the girl in the red sari & the squeaking brakes. • Brainstorm ideas for a particular theme (seasons, times of day, different landscapes) by listing details from all 5 senses. • Collaborate on a haiku with a partner using the items from the lists you both made.