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A Bee

When I taught poetry, I included haiku and writing them overlapped with our Social Studies curriculum. Bashō was a traditional Japanese poets in a Social Studies unit. As well, I asked students to draw pictures to add richness to their poetry.

Several parents and one administrator questioned the value of writing haiku. I told them it was finding the right word to express one’s self. That was enough for most adults, but the administrator and one parent did not get it. What is ironic is both make their living speaking publicly and I think writing haiku might be helpful.

I chose this haiku, because quite often we struggle to give up things we do not do well and seek the comfort of safe places. In this case, the bee is comfortable in the peony and is reluctant to leave.

Usually, the students enjoyed writing poetry and understood the benefits. Several students used poetry to keep notes in other classes. The students were concerned about the 5-7-5 syllable pattern than actually writing poetry. I told them to get their broad ideas down, find new words, and massage the pattern into place. They took their time and learned how to use a syllabus in the process.

How reluctantly

the bee emerges from deep

within the peony

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

10 responses »

  1. A wonderful segue into national poetry month. So steeped am in the idea that I actually first misread the last line of the haiku as: “within the poetry.” It worked for me. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Love Basho, Issa, others. I have written Renshi with a group of women for years now on the island. We’ve also written Haiku for fun. Your instructions to the students were spot-on. No need to get crazy on details, one need only open oneself to nature and all shall be revealed in simplicity and grace.

    Reply
    • Thank you for a wonderful comment Bela. Writing Renshi sounds like fun. We often think of poetry as needing solitude. I am sure the island gives you some of that, but sharing with kindred spirits would bring ideas out differently.

      Reply
      • It does. And we’re diverse in ethnicity, which makes it really interesting: 1 Japanese/Hawaiian, 1 Tongan, 2 Caucasians and 1 straight-up Hawaiian. We’ve been published by Bamboo Ridge Press out of Honolulu, which mostly features island-born writers. We’ve hung in there since 2012, and we’ve really evolved our style. It’s fun 😉

      • The diversity makes this even more interesting.

  3. Thank you for sharing the wisdom and this reluctant been haiku Ivon. 💛

    Reply

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