By Angela Jones Tillman, Silk Hope School, Siler City, North Carolina

Chapter 4:  "HAIKU; capturing the moment!"

             "Here comes the real challenge with haiku.
       To express an image or two so well that the reader
      "sees" it in his or her mind  . . . and then you add
       another image that demands a leap or twist so the
       two previous images are seen in a new
                           Excerpt from a paper written for and posted
                                on the Shiki International Haiku Salon
                                         April 16,1996;   1996, Jane Reichhold

            While our plants were receiving their "weekly watering", we discussed the form of traditional haiku and decided upon the version of simply using three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables.  I stressed the importance of "capturing" an instant in time and said, "As you look at your plant, think about what it means to you. Its' living presence and ability to grow and mature . . . much like yourself!"

             Many of the students at that time realized their role as nurturer and caretaker for the first time.  It is quite evident in their haiku. Each student was asked to create four different haiku and choose their favorite for a grade.

             Afterwards, I asked students to write a brief note to David Fukumoto concerning what this project has meant to them.  The notes, as well as the haiku, were an excellent means of evaluation. Students spoke with their heart on a level I had never before witnessed.   Here are  excerpts of four:

      " . . . At first I didn't think that I would like this project because I'm not a "plant" person.   But since we've started I've really begun to enjoy it.  My plant is progressing very smoothly.  It's started new growth and is the shape that I want it to be.   This has been a great experience . . . "                                       Jennifer
     " . . . I have had an immense amount of fun working with the bonsai, and I sincerely appreciate the obvious care that has been used in getting all of our plants to the tamed shape that they are in. Although I have had no experience working with bonsai before, I feel calm and at ease working with mine . . ."                  Murray
      " I have never been a good artist but since we have been working with the Dwarf Schefflera plants you sent us, art class has been much more enjoyable for me. Even after we finish this unit I wish to continue growing bonsai plants on my own                        Jeremy
     " . . . I have enjoyed working with the bonsai plants. This is the most exciting and challenging art project that I have done. The bonsai plants are as if they are little children . . . I hope that other children across the country will experience the enjoyment as I have."    Ashley
Tillman sketch Craig 2.jpg (24615 bytes)

Tillman future sketch.jpg (16949 bytes)


Tillman haiku Murray.jpg (8447 bytes)

Tillman haiku Brittany 2.jpg (8328 bytes)

Tillman haiku Ashley.jpg (8081 bytes)

Tillman haiku Jesse.jpg (8985 bytes)

          Photos by Angela Tillman and Silk Hope School principal Rob Tharp. Under school policy, the photos appear with permission of the students but with only first names.

Fuku-Bonsai Inc. & Angela Jones Tillman, 2002      All rights reserved

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