Poetry by Roger Weaver

A Writer’s Workshop for Elementary Teachers

In order to teach haiku effectively to children, it is important to understand this form takes great mature appreciation of how much the masters encompass in few words. The following is a short course, giving the background in a writer’s workshop for elementary teachers interested in teaching haiku.

A good haiku is an address for the eternal. Both and end and means, vehicle and destination, it puts in close proximity to many elements of the common and the rare, the natural and the unseen as is possible in the fewest words. There is a trajectory of implication which continues after the last syllable is read or heard, and this is ultimately ineffable.

Accessibility and remoteness have an aesthetic tradition in the art of the Northwest. Elements of Eastern and Western cultures are found in the works of Morris Graves, mark Tobey, Minor White, Lloyd Reynolds, and Gary Snyder. His “Hitch Haiku” (referring to hitch-hiking) show this blend.

In contrast to its tiny size, the implications of haiku are enormous. In senryu the subject is human rather than nature. Here are three examples of haiku.

A falling blossom
is coming back to the branch.
Look, a butterfly.

Shadows form from mist.
River rapids move below.
One shadow takes flight.
-Mike Spring

Trail lost, compass gone
halfway up the mountain, yet
the peak still beckons.
-Roger Weaver