Kala Ramesh says:
One of the best definitions of English-language haiku (ELH) ever attempted is from Haruo Shirane’s essay, ‘Beyond the Haiku Moment’ published in Modern Haiku, XXXI:1 ( 2000): “I would say, echoing the spirit of Basho’s own poetry, that haiku in English is a short poem, usually written in one to three lines, that seeks out new and revealing perspectives on the human and physical condition, focusing on the immediate physical world around us, particularly that of nature, and on the workings of the human imagination, memory, literature and history.”

It would be appropriate here to add that this definition sits well not just with English-language Haiku (ELH) but for haiku attempted in all languages too.

I would like to bring into focus these words and what they mean: “the workings of the human imagination”. Ever since I came into haiku around a decade back, we have eschewed imagination completely . . . and yet the beautiful ‘ku we have most admired are the ones that have used imagination. If haiku is to be considered as an art form then imagination and craft will play a part and we need to know how to play them.

From my experience, I can confidently say, children just know the knack!

I think of the proverb “we can take the horse to the water but can’t make it drink” … after the workshop, however intensive it is, each student has to make a conscious effort to understand the nuances and depth in the art form, and that comes only with practice.

I thank Tom Clausen from the bottom of my heart for featuring my students’ haiku and senryu for the 2nd time at Cornell Mann Library’s Daily Haiku.

Organisations have consistently encouraged children to learn haiku and allied genres, if not, this body of work would not have existed. My deepest gratitude to Geeta Dharmarajan at Katha.org; Anita Patankar at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts; Swati Ray, Jo Williams and Venkatesh at Bookaroo Children’s literary Festival; Manjiri Prabhu at Pune International Literary Festival; Tom Clausen at Mann Library’s Daily Haiku; An’ya, Alan Summers and Sonam Chokki at cattail’s Youth Corner; Mainichi Haiku Contest, Vancouver Cherry Blossom Haiku Contest and others for encouraging children’s participation.

Kala Ramesh co-edited the award winning Naad Anunaad: an Anthology of Contemporary World Haiku (Vishwakarma Publication 2016), co-authored an e-book with Marlene Mountain one-line twos (Bones 2016) and a tanka e-chapbook unseen arc (Snapshot Press 2017). Author of two books: haiku (Katha Books 2010, reprint 2017) and beyond the horizon beyond (Vishwakarma Publication 2017). Kala’s initiatives culminated in founding IN haiku in 2013. She teaches haiku and allied genres at Symbiosis International University Pune. To bring haiku into everyday spaces, Kala initiated HaikuWALL, haikuTRAIL, haikuTALK, haikuWORKSHOP, haikuYOUTH, haikuUTSAV, haikuDHYANA and haikuSAAT-SANGATH, the last being a stage performance with dancers and actors.

Haiku Chronicles is proud to present a film produced by Kala Ramesh HaikuWALL India — an attempt to bring haiku into everyday spaces.