Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy International Haiku Day! National Poetry Month



In honor of  International Haiku Poetry Day, I’m pleased to present Amy Losak of Teaneck, NJ. Amy is—well, why don’t I let her introduce herself?

I am a highly experienced public relations professional specializing in healthcare. I have developed a love for writing short poetry, notably haiku and senryu, and have published them in Failed Haiku, Prune Juice, hedgerow, Under the Basho, the Asahi Haikuist Network and The Daily Haiku. I also expects my poems to be published this year in Newtown Literary, Modern Haiku and Pulse – Voices From the Heart of Medicine.

Wow! That’s a whole lotta haiku! What can you tell us about this day?

In April, National Poetry Month, April 17 is International Haiku Poetry Day, according to the Haiku Foundation.

How were you drawn to this poetic form?

I write haiku and senryu. I’m not very good, but I'm slowly improving as I continue to read the work of gifted haijin (haiku poets) and write them myself. I enjoy the process. I started on this unusual (for me) journey several years ago, thanks to my mom, Sydell Rosenberg (1929-1996), a charter member of the Haiku Society of America. HSA was established in NY in 1968 and next year, it will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

 


As a result of my efforts to revive and preserve some of her literary legacy, Syd's themed haiku and senryu picture book will be published by Penny Candy Books in spring of 2018. I also have a successful partnership with a New York nonprofit arts education organization, Arts For All. Mom's micro-poems are used in one Queens and one Bronx public school to teach the basics of painting, drawing and collage; and music and theater. They are like miniature stories in some ways, with characters and plots, and they are very visual.

Congratulations, Amy and Sydell! What a wonderful way to honor your mother’s memory and talent. 

What can you tell us about haiku? The economy but endlessly evocative qualities of haiku -- saying a lot with few words and in few lines; leaving things out so readers can "fill in" their own meanings -- is what makes this poetic form challenging, sometimes frustrating, and ultimately rewarding. For me, a haiku poem rarely occurs in a flash of inspiration -- a "Eureka" moment that needs no revision. A short haiku can take a long time to polish. And for me, it may never be "perfect." I am rarely satisfied with my work.

And I’ve learned that’s okay. Haiku is about more than craft and the end product put down on the page. Haiku impels me to slow down, take a breath, be in the moment and observe my surroundings, in order to capture my impressions and ideas succinctly. It is an act of both focus and flow. While writing haiku takes practice and discipline, it shouldn’t be intimidating. As we observe and write, it’s fine to allow ourselves to “play” too. 


A world of wonderful haiku are being written today. It truly is a global community.



If you want to learn more about haiku, a wealth of online and social media resources are at your fingertips. So I hope you will haiku, too. Enjoy!


Thank you, Amy, for your generosity in sharing your haiku and Sydell's, and for telling us more about this form of poetry! Amy also shared this picture of herself and her mother.

Readers, do you haiku? Please leave comments for Amy below.




14 comments:

  1. I do haiku. It one of the few forms of poetry that I feel comfortable attempting. I love the ones yo have shared here, Amy. Ty for sharing your journey and the photo of you and your poetess mother.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Kathy. I think Amy is much too humble when she says she's not very good. It is a form that can take a lifetime to master, though.

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  2. Thank you Jane, for having Amy as your guest. I enjoyed learning more about haiku and reading Amy's poetry. She is very good

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Life's Beautiful Path. I agree that both Amy & her mother are very good.

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  3. Amy: as usual, I am inspired by your efforts to honor your mom and her work. Based on your work shown here, your have obviously followed in your mom's thoughtful and talented footsteps. Great interview Jane and thank you for sharing:)

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Tracy, and thanks for leaving a comment. I'm glad you find Amy's work as inspiring as I do.

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  4. I really love these examples. Reading and writing haiku makes me stop and pause, brings me great joy. Have a nice day.

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    1. Thanks for stopping & pausing to comment here, Karen. Yes, aren't these good? We would all do well to stop and pause, look and see what might be haiku around us.

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  5. I love these haiku, and I love how Amy is honoring her mother. I was in Teaneck not so long ago, and I was thinking of you and your haiku, Amy.

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Ellen. I agree with you about Amy's haiku and how she is honoring her mother.

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  6. I want to take a moment to thank Jane again -- and all of you -- for your lovely words. I'm truly honored and overjoyed. My mom is the reason I do this and it's been so satisfying. Thank you , all -- and Ellen, next time you're in my neck of the woods, perhaps we can meet at Bischoff's for ice cream!

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    1. Such a beautiful way to keep your mother's work and life alive and to share her with us, Amy.

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  7. Haiku is a way of life. When I exp experience "life block" along with writer's block I can still haiku.

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    1. I had not thought of it that way, PJO, but you are absolutely right. Haiku is a way of life and a state of being. Thanks for your comment!

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