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Haiku with Ann Goldring - September 12th, 2015

Haiku is a concise form of poetry, usually a few short lines, that often uses stark or spare images like sumi-e painting. Ann Goldring showed that relationship by including some sumi-e paintings by Roslyn Levin along with readings from class.

Examples of haiku and sumi-e together were provided for the workshop by Ann Goldring.

Haiku Canada receives many haiku poems each year showing that this ancient art form continues to fascinate us today.

Frogs are the subject of many haiku poems. Basho, a famous haiku poet, wrote:
an ancient pond
a frog jumps in
the splash of water

Then it was our turn. Writing a few short lines is more challenging than you might imagine!

Sometimes painting an idea quickly and then connecting the image with words works. Or, vice-versa.

In a show-and-tell session, the workshop participants taped their efforts to a wall.

This sumi-e painting was done with the non-dominant hand (that is, if you are right-handed then you would use your left hand). Using your non-dominant hand is a way to express thoughts from your unconscious mind. The haiku reads:
bending with the wind
mending with time

This leaf on a pine branch led to this haiku:
pine and needles
winter santuary
for a golden leaf

This painting came from one of Ann Goldring's haiku poems:
turning a leaf
into itself

A spider inspired this image with this haiku:
a tiny spider
weaving a quilt with thread of light
silver on my balcony

Some haiku poems led to sumi-e paintings without words.

Some haiku were written with Japanese calligraphy.

This image of a snail on a rock had this haiku:
little snail
slowly slowly
goes up
Mount Fuji

The cherry blossom (the sakura, in Japanese) is symbolic of the transitory nature of life. Each year there is a cherry blossom festival in Japan when the cherry trees bloom. This haiku reads:
all kinds of things
I recollect -
cherry blossoms

A handout from Ann Goldring had this haiku by Sora, who accompanied Basho on his journeys:
up the barley rows
stitching stitching them together
a butterfly goes

Our haiku wall generated an energetic reaction from the members at the workshop.

Participants read their works and shared what ideas had sparked their haikus.

The workshop was an expressive experience!

The haiku also led to unexpected insights.

Interested in trying haiku out? A personal haiku book can develop your skill.

Ann Goldring thanked all who had explored this fascinating poetry and shared their experience in words and painting.

Ann Goldring has written a book of haiku, only the wind, which is listed in the books section.