Current Work, Life, Nature, Poetry, Uncategorized

Haiku Writing and Calligraphy Class

I have had the privilege these last few months of working with a student in his calligraphy class. I do most of the work right alongside him, just helping him keep things in order and stay focused. Our last assignment of the year is a project around Haikus, that ancient poetry form so often used by teachers to get reluctant kids to try writing a poem because it is short. Haikus are fun and sometimes silly, but can also be incredibly profound for so few words. I have also found, while writing them, that they are surprisingly meditative in practice. Apparently, I am not the only one, this was sort of the original purpose of them and the reason many people continue to write them today.

The calligraphy teacher gave these instructions: write five haikus about people, places, things and events that have helped shape you. Next, break those haikus into one short summary sentence of no more than eight words. Here are mine:

#1.

Legacy of love

Food laden dinner table

Stories and laughter

 

Legacy of food laden laughter

 

#2.

Protecting mountains

Opal creeks, ancient timbers

Santiam Canyon

 

Mountains opal, ancient canyon

 

#3.

I learned about God

In a small and perfect face

Unconditional

 

God in a small face, unconditional

 

#4.

Always book in reach

Narnia, Rohr, Coates, Melville

Pages in my blood

 

Narnia, Rohr, Coates, Melville in my blood

 

#5.

Broken heart, doubting

He helped me see, think and heal

I needed pursuit

 

Broken heart needed pursuit

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Perhaps you can make some guesses as to what, where or who these allude to. Perhaps you would like to try it for yourself… I highly recommend it and would love to read the results.

The next part of the assignment will involve doing watercolor backgrounds then using calligraphy to write one or more of our short sentences onto them. Perhaps I will share my finished product.

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