- "Here comes the real challenge with
- To express
an image or two so well that the reader
it in his or her mind . . . and then you add
image that demands a leap or twist so the
previous images are seen in a new
from a paper written for and posted
the Shiki International Haiku Salon
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 . . . "
- " . . . 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 . . ."
- " 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
- " . . . 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."
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.