My name is Violette Rose-Jones and I am your guest blogger for this month. I thought I’d open by telling you all a little about my haiku journey.
The first time I ever encountered haiku was in the early 1990’s. I don’t remember the first poem I read but I remember my reaction on reading my first good one. It struck me as this amazing TARDIS-like literary creature, so much bigger on the inside than the outside. I then had three thoughts in quick succession: Firstly I wondered how something so small could move me so much. My second was about how on earth you write such a thing and my third, and I gather this reaction is fairly unique to me, was, wouldn’t these look good combined with images? Of course I couldn’t find any good instruction on writing them then , only that old 5-7-5 saw that all new writers to haiku hear about. Lacking guidance, I thought that anything could be a haiku just as long as it was 5-7-5 and as a result, I started writing haiku that make me cringe today. I immediately combined these atrocities with imagery. I did not own a computer at the time and anyway the days of great photoshopping at home were quite a long way away at that point. What I could do was trick photography, so that is what I did. Check out the picture I have attached. This is my first go at a haiga; everyone sucks when they start out at something.
I didn’t keep at it long then. I gave birth to a son not long after that and got the busy life that comes with small children. I came back to haiku in 2008. This time I had the internet and books to help me. I read great haiku. I admired and learnt from the haiga of greats like Alexis Rotella. I grew and I got better (I think). I’ve been published a bit now, fallen totally, hopelessly and irreversibly in love with haiga making and haiku and its related forms have become interwoven in my life.
I hope you will read my posts over the next month and if you only take one thing away from them, I hope it is that haiku is worth persisting to learn. In the end you will get more from it than you give.