Grad My Hand
A Collection of Haiku
Niki Curatti learned about the art of haiku during her senior year at Millikin University. She took Dr. Randy Brooks’ Global Haiku class and fell in love with painting her view of the world she lives in, through her haiku. She enjoys spending her free time in nature and listening to psychedelic rock’n’roll. She views her haiku as light-hearted and thoughtful. She chose these haiku to include in her collection: Grab My Hand because they best exemplify the journey she wants to take the reader on.
Puddles all around Obstacles or Opportunities:
The Art of Writing Haiku
I was introduced to the Global Haiku class by a friend who took it the previous semester. I needed an English credit and she said that the class was a lot of fun and that learning to write haiku was really interesting. When I signed up for the class on scheduling day, I was completely unaware that the class would end up changing my outlook on life.
Haiku is whatever the artist makes of it. Some focus deeply on their technique, others let the haiku flow simply as they pop into their heads. Some people only write haiku about certain topics, while others leave their haiku open to whatever inspires them. Often, haiku acts as a mirror, reflecting the life that the artist lives and imagines. Reading and analyzing haiku is a beautiful way of getting to know someone. In just three short lines, readers can feel, see, taste, hear, smell, and imagine all that the artist had when writing the haiku.
Through the duration of the class, we were given the tools we need to become artists of haiku. We learned about the different types of haiku, senryu, haibun, and renga. We read haiku from over thirty different professional and student artists, teaching us different styles and techniques. We learned about the history behind haiku. And we learned how to become our own artists.
Learning to become my own artist was one of the most enriching experiences of my college career. Through guidance, I wrote in different settings, I wrote about different topics, and I wrote in different states of mind. I began to discover what my art looked and felt like. I began to understand my world and the things around me, on a different level. Throughout my life, I have struggled to find things that I felt good at, things that I could make my own, enjoy, and cherish. Haiku became that for me. Writing haiku makes me feel confident in my artistic abilities, something that I had been searching for at Millikin. Writing haiku connects me with nature and others. It inspires me to see and embrace my world to its fullest and that is something that will follow me for the rest of my life.
Writing haiku isn’t an activity, it’s a state of mind. Once you’re introduced to that state of mind, it puts down a down payment and moves right in. I may not write haiku as often, but I know that I will always be in the haiku state of mind, that is appreciating, questioning, pondering, and being present in the life around me. This state of mind will do me well in any haiku that I write down the road, as well as in being grounded and grateful. I’m grateful for the opportunities that this class has given me to explore my artistry and world, and I’m grateful for the ways that I know it will impact my life in the future.
~Niki Curatti, Spring 2020