Thursday, April 09, 2015

NPM Project: Jumping Into Form - Haiku (Conclusion)

I've enjoyed exploring haiku with you the last few days. Today I want to share a few more haiku titles (though there are many more), along with some final thoughts on the form and ideas for teaching haiku. 
One Leaf Rides the Wind (2005), written by Celeste Davidson Mannis and illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung, is a nice combination of a counting book and a haiku poetry. It is set in a Japanese garden where a young girl counts the things she sees, like bonsai, koi, and lotus flowers. The left side of each spread contains an illustration of the objects being counted. On the right side of each spread is the printed numeral, a haiku describing the objects, and a footnote introducing readers to various aspects of traditional Japanese culture. Here are the poems for 8 and 9.

What do flowers dream?
Adrift on eight pond pillows,
Pink-cheeked blossoms rest.

Hoping for some crumbs,
they nibble at my fingers.
Nine glittering koi.

Poems ©Celeste Davidson Mannis. All rights reserved.
Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons (2014), written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth, is a quiet look at seasons that also includes a hidden alphabetic journey (A for autumn, B for broom, C for coat, and so on). In 26 poems, Muth's panda named Koo helps readers see the beauty and simplicity of the world and daily life. From the outset, Muth does a terrific job capturing the essence of haiku. Here is an excerpt from the author's note.
Over time, haiku has evolved, so that many modern poets no longer adhere so rigidly to this structure. I have not restricted myself to the five-seven-five syllable pattern that many of us grew up learning haiku must be.
For me, haiku is like an instant captured in words—using sensory images. At its best, a haiku embodies a moment of emotion that reminds us that our own human nature is not separate from all of nature.
Here are the opening and closing haiku. Readers may notice that the alphabet words in each poem are capitalized.

are you dreaming
of new clothes?

becoming so quiet
Zero sound
only breath

Poems ©Jon Muth, 2014. All rights reserved.
The Year Comes Round: Haiku Through the Seasons (2012), written by Sid Farrar and illustrated by Ilse Plume, is a small collection of 12 haiku that take readers through the months from January to December. Back matter includes a note about haiku, information on the cycle of life, and more on each season. The last page includes one final haiku. Farrar has done a fine job selecting natural elements that exemplify the seasons. Here is my favorite poem. Can you guess which month this is?

Like tiny fallen 
stars, fireflies quietly blink
their secrets at dusk

And this is the poem that ends the book.

Earth circles the sun
spinning a tapestry of
days, months, seasons—life.

Poems ©Sid Farrar, 2012. All rights reserved.
Black Swan/White Crow (1995), written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Christopher Manson, is a collection of 13 haiku with themes from nature and the outdoors, accompanied by woodcut illustrations. The words and images are spare and beautiful, fully complementing each other. Here are two of my favorite haiku.

Frantic sandpiper--
high tides erasing
her footnotes

Snowdrifts to his knees,
a scarecrow left with nothing
up his sleeve.

Poems ©J. Patrick Lewis. All rights reserved.

Other haiku books I love but which are sadly out of print include Least Things: Poems about Small Natures (Yolen), Stone Bench In An Empty Park (Janeczko), Cricket Never Does (Livingston), and Don't Step on the Sky: A Handful of Haiku (Chaikin).

We've looked at a lot of haiku over the last few days. If you are ready to try reading and writing it with your students, here are some resources that may interest you.
I hope you've learned something new in this exploration of haiku. Tomorrow the limerick is in the spotlight.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post for haiku lovers. Thanks so much. I've got Hi Koo and I've read Dog Ku