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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


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

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. 🙂

  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.

    • 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.

      • 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. 💛


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