Jarred Leeper is a junior Elementary Education major from Decatur, Ill. He graduated from Sangamon Valley High School in 2010 as Salutatorian. At Millikin, Jarred is a student member of the Alumni Association and a member of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society. Additionally, he is a student worker in the Office of Admission. Jarred attends Sharon United Methodist Church and teaches Sunday school to children in grades K-3. In his free time, Jarred enjoys reading, watching movies, and cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals. After graduating from Millikin, he will pursue a Master's Degree in Educational Administration.
Changing Seasons: A Haiku Compilation
This haiku compilation is dedicated to my wife, Lori, and to my wonderful family. Thank you for the strong vocabulary you have helped me establish, and for the countless times you have listened to my attempts at writing haiku.
Additionally, here is to Dr. Randy Brooks, who disproved that haiku must follow a 5-7-5 pattern and successfully explained why.
I have had a great time learning how to write haiku this semester. On the first day of class, Dr. Brooks asked what I already knew about the art of writing haiku, and the most I could say was that it followed a 5-7-5 syllabic pattern. To my dismay, I found that what I had been taught throughout elementary school was incorrect. Haiku consists of so much more than a rigid structure, and part of the joy of haiku is found in its unconventional phrasing and sentencing. I found my eyes being opened to a whole new way of thinking.
The title of this chapbook parallels my life. This semester has literally seen a change from summer to autumn to winter, but it has changed so much more than that. I got married over the summer, and my life has taken on an entirely new meaning. I find that my haiku are inspired by my relationship with my wife and family, and that is no accident. My wife is my best friend, and together, we constitute a whole new part of our families. It is an exciting time for both of us as we change seasons from singlehood to man and wife. And there is no better way to express that than through the spoken and written word.
So, as you read the haiku I have included in this small book, take a moment to apply them to your own life. Maybe you are not married yet, nor do you have the same experiences as I, but through the nature of the human spirit, you will find many similarities to your own life story. Enjoy those thoughts and challenge yourself to reflect personally on your past. Do not dwell on your mistakes, but look forward to what is ahead. By doing that, you will discover that the seasons are changing in your own soul, and you must find the strength and courage to move forward.
December 11, 2012