Summer of Innovation
July 21, 2020
I was first introduced to contemporary haiku in the Global Haiku Traditions class at Millikin University, taught by Dr. Randy Brooks. It was completely different from the traditional Japanese poetry I expected. I enjoyed being able to read haiku written by published authors, as well as past students. When we met online for the first time, Dr. Brooks read aloud the haiku:
the sun coming up
in the iron skillet
James Tipton, Bittersweet, p. 20
He then asked us to describe what we could feel through this haiku. It was apparent that in just a few moments after hearing this haiku, it could lead you to a specific place, time and smell. I imagined being at my grandparent’s house during the summer. I often spent many of my summer days with them. Every weekend, my grandma would cook us a big breakfast and we would all eat together at the table. I could feel being in the big queen sized bed, waking up to the smell of bacon. I pictured my grandma standing at the stove with the cast iron, cracking eggs into the hot bacon grease. I could imagine hearing the sizzling sound of the eggs as they reached the pan.
It was during this first meeting that I realized how much I was going to enjoy writing haiku myself. This selection of haiku comes during a time of global change and innovation. My approach comes from my own personal experiences and struggles. I like to write haiku that is relatable to others as well, showing that we are not alone during this time. My hope is to take the reader to a specific place where they can add their own experience and personal connection to the haiku.
About the Author:
Anna Ernst was born in Decatur, IL on May 22nd, 1981. She wrote this haiku collection during the summer of 2020, while studying Global Haiku Tradition under Dr. Randy Brooks. Anna is a wife, mother and student. She is the program coordinator at the Moultrie County Beacon in Sullivan, IL, working with adults with disabilities for over 20 years. Anna has a great passion for her family and friends. Her haiku comes from personal experiences and raw emotion. She is currently a senior at Millikin University and plans to graduate this fall with a Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership.