I have had a passion for haiku since high school. It’s a form that felt so easy to create. While I love the poetry of Mary Oliver and David Whyte, to name just two of my favorites, I believe, or should I say that I believed, that writing poetry other than haiku would be much more difficult. Now, I am not so sure.
What is your experience with dabbling in an area of interest and then, as you dive in more deeply, you are surprised to learn how rich and complex the experience can be?
It wasn’t until last March at Haiku: Three Simple Lines – Haiku as Refuge In Our Times with Roshi Joan Halifax, Sensei Kaz Tanahashi, Natalie Goldberg, and Clark Strand, hosted by the Upaya Institute that I really began to study the form.
Beauty of first snow
breathtaking and heart-stopping
When, and why, did you take a step in a more serious direction?
Fast forward to January, 2022: In my desire to become more proficient, I enrolled in Clark Strand’s, Haiku Master Class. It’s a year-long program with a small cohort in which we submit up to 18 haiku a week in two different forums and then three more each month to be included in a KuKai, (a peer-reviewed poetry contest).
Winter morning friends
Gather round the feeder to
How are you exploring your new knowledge or skill?
Folks who know me, are aware that I relish great feedback. Great feedback for me, is that which is both congratulatory and constructive, with information about how I have done things well (so I can repeat and expand on them) and what I can do even better. I need this interaction to make progress.
How have you integrated receiving feedback about your learning into your practice?
I am still finding my way in this part of the work and play of this endeavor… reading the material that Clark is sharing with us each week, working to keep up with what folks are writing on the two haiku pages on FB that Clark hosts, writing my 18 poems each week plus those for the KuKai, incorporating the feedback I receive on my work, and learning from feedback given to others. It’s close to too much AND I love it!
How are you working to create harmony among the roles, responsibilities, need to play, and make time to rest and rejuvenate?
This aspect of life remains a work in progress for me—with some days feeling more harmonious than others.
It’s my plan to complete this course and then decide if I want to move forward with learning to teach haiku. I am always interested in finding ways to use art to inspire and heal. I learned of the book, So Happy to See Cherry Blossoms, Haiku from the Year of the Great Earthquake and Tsunami, edited by Madoka Mayuzumi, last year. Perhaps I will teach haiku as a way of helping myself and others work through grief and pain. It’s a star in my universe of possibilities… we will see what this year brings!
How will you integrate your new learning into your life? How will it show up for you or others?
I hope that you will share your thoughts about your experiences with your passions and learning!