Haiku on the Run

Margaret Ryan
Janet Bergeron
Marilyn Myerson

2020 National Poetry Month Poster, Samantha Aikman

Poetry Month 2023 wraps up with a unique spin on the Haiku form where lines of haiku are interwoven in a short story depicting a jogger’s observations during a morning run. Images of winter in Florida, the sights and sounds of a runner’s trail and even resolution of a final dilemma are expressed in self-conscious haiku interjections.  Margaret Ryan’s combination of association and haiku delivers a fun sprint to the end. The haiku are presented a second time below the prose section to let us read them as standalone pieces. You will notice that Margaret does not strictly adhere to the 5-7-5 structure rule of a traditional Japanese haiku, choosing instead to rely on the secondary guideline for writing in this format, to wit: a moment of observation or insight. Modern haiku can often be structured with far fewer syllables than the originally proscribed seventeen, and the composition of syllables over lines has enjoyed a newly accepted fluidity. A guide for beginning and intermediate poets written by Brian Evans-Jones on his website entitled The Poetry Place clearly describes recent approaches to writing haiku. First time contributor Janet Bergeron and Marilyn Myerson round out our final 2023 poetry blog in traditional haiku mode.

Many thanks to all who shared their personal poetic journey with us this month.— Editors

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The above poster image was created by tenth grader Samantha Aikman from Mount Mansfield Union High School in Richmond, Vermont for the 2020 National Poetry Month Poster Contest for Students. Samantha won the top prize for her submission incorporating line(s) from the poem “Remember” by U. S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo that reflected a celebration of the art of poetry. Aikman chose the following line:   “Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.” — Editors

Open Mic Night II

Victoria Dym

Lauren H., Hanover, NH

In last week’s issue we shared a smorgasbord of haiku contributed by our members to celebrate National Poetry Month. Before that we experienced live readings performed by more poets at a January Open Mic event. With today’s issue we return to live material, this time presented by the host of the Open Mic Night, Victoria Dym. As with our last mixed-media poetry blog the written poems appear below the video so you, the reader, can experience her writing skills as well as the spontaneous performance she delivered.

The above photo was part of a 2021 National Poetry Month poster competition for middle and high school students. Lauren H., at that time a 10th grade student in Hanover, New Hampshire, discussed her creative process illustrating the poem , “For Keeps” by U. S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. Here is an excerpt of her description. — Editor

“…The experience of looking upwards into the pitch-black sky and just seeing the stars spread out above oneself is one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences that a person can have with nature. I wanted to show that experience with my artwork…..This poem acknowledges that despite how alone we can be in the world, we can form meaningful relationships that surpass the boundaries of language. In my drawing, at first glance, the two beings seem lonely and isolated in the dark of night, but upon deeper inspection, the person and the horse are companions who are truly appreciating nature together.”

National Poetry Month 2023

Evelyn Romano, Tom Mueller
Cath Mason, Kathy Winarski

2023 National Poetry Month Poster, artwork by Marc Brown

OLLI Connects kicks off April Poetry Month with featured performances from the Victoria Dym & Friends Poetry Open Mic event that was held on Friday January 27, 2023. Experiencing poems read in a public setting evokes the unique personal connection between writer and material. In this week’s Poetry Open Mic Night you will encounter poetry performed by OLLI-USF poets, Evelyn Romano, Tom Mueller, Cath Mason and Kathy Winarski through captioned videos with a full text of each poem highlighted underneath. And stay tuned later in the month for the second part of the Open Mic Event where OLLI Connects will feature poems by event host, Victoria Dym. — Editors

For more free poetry resources visit Poets.org/npm
Follow this link for more information on Poetry Events in Tampa Bay

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry that takes place in April every year.  It was introduced in 1996, organized by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States.  Their web site is a good place to find information about local poetry events during the month.  Which are pretty thin on the ground this year.   But we’ve got you covered with two small, intimate poetry “events” every week.  (More…)

National Poetry Month

NPM Background 01 Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on UnsplashLike way too much of life these days, National Poetry Month has had to go online this year.  Even this issue of OLLI Connects is an online manifestation of an experience that would be more powerful if you were there, live and in person, hearing both of today’s poets read their own works.  We can’t give you that exact experience, but we suggest–seriously–that you read the poetry in this piece aloud.  Pay attention to the punctuation, the timing, the sentence melody.  Let each poem tell you how to read it.   (More…)

Taking Life by the Throat

April is National Poetry Month, and we’re celebrating it (again) with another group of poems by OLLI members.  That fellow in the picture is, of course, Robert Frost, one of America’s best known and best loved poets.  He was Poet Laureate of Vermont, though never Poet Laureate of the United States.  He once described poetry as “a way of taking life by the throat”.

We think he would have enjoyed the poetry we have for you today.  And at the end of the post we’ll share some other ways you can enjoy poetry this month.  (More…)

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