On Wednesday, it rained in Northern California. This is something that hasn’t been happening very often. (See also: drought.) It was glorious & noteworthy.
And so, my frosh college comp students wrote haikus about the rain. Yes, it had to happen.
And it was good. To stop. To not rush. To listen. Feel. Connect. Discover. To Write. Together.
Here’s some of what they had to say. (All writing by English100 students, each space is a new writer):
Rain is like wet peace
Cascading down my body
Piercing my very soul
Grey slippery drops
Renewing luscious hillsides
Quenching nature’s thirst
Joy Fills the Gray Sky
Dull Struggles are Dropped
Clouds filled with wet life
Sound of peace with sleep
The earth is renewed
Every time rain falls down
Water creates life.
Each line is a complete image in very few words. I compiled this one longer poem from various lines out of the students’ original work. Each one was lovely as a stand alone haiku, but putting it together like this connected writers’ ideas to a collaborative mosaic.
Do you teach poetry in your classes? If so, what do the students think? A few of mine were skeptical at first. They needed time to brainstorm, to think it out, and to really understand that there was no objective, and no assessment. If the haiku turned out well, great. If students weren’t happy with it, then they need not turn it in. Low risk and high reward, especially as students read their poems aloud. I hope you will take some time to notice the rain, or the snow, or whatever else is of interest in your part of the world. Make it noteworthy. Craft some poetry together. Share some writing. Make some connections.
I happen to love the rain. Do you? I love the smell, the way the air feels. I love walking across campus in it. Here in California, we aren’t going to be making our way out of this devastating drought anytime soon, but at least we had a little sliver of silver lining on Wednesday.
Lisa (aka, The Happy Teacher)
Need a refresher course on Haiku? It’s a form of Japanese poetry made up of three lines. Lines are 5/7/5 syllables each. The first line consists of 5 syllables, the second line consists of 7 syllables, and the third line consists of 5 syllables. Haiku often focuses on nature. For more on how to write a haiku, click here.