EN340 / IN350 Global Haiku Tradition
Dr. Randy Brooks
Spring 2003
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Chrissy Hulse

Selected Haiku

Chrissy Hulse

Author's Preface 

I can remember sitting at my computer five months ago wracking my brain to write an original haiku, one that would be unique and personal, as well as abide by the 5-7-5-syllable principle, needless to say, that haiku was extremely unoriginal and boring. I later came to learn that these principles did not necessarily apply to all haiku poems; in fact not many writers use it today, however it is still being taught in the classrooms today. The freedom of haiku today allows writers to truly make it their own, and to create their own images without feeling trapped or restricted. With this being said, I have enjoyed the self-expression and creativity that haiku offers to its writers, as well as its readers. Although the poem in itself is rather short and to the point, the images that they can create are endless and open to interpretation. These images allow for specific moments, or broad examples of events or memories that many readers can relate to their own lives, regardless of where the author is coming from.

Although it is important to note that not all poems are written from personal experience, rather many are written from the author's imagination. I have found that most of my writing this semester has been taken from my own personal experiences as a means of self-expression and reflection, however I enjoy writing them for others to relate in their own hearts and minds. Therefore, I challenge each reader to open his or her minds, hearts, and sense of humor up to my writing, and to simply enjoy it for what it is.

—Chrissy Hulse
May 7, 2003

Reader's Introduction

Reading Chrissy Hulse's haiku is not an out-of-body experience. It is not magical; nor is life-altering. Instead, reading Chrissy's haiku is more like a trip down memory lane. The moments she writes about—from meeting a new sibling for the first time, to making that long walk down the field on graduation day—are ordinary events that most of us have probably experienced at one time or another. However, the straightforward, simplistic manner in which she presents her moments is what makes reading Chrissy's haiku a significant experience.

Her haiku are simply teeming with emotion, making that moment come vividly to life for the reader. One can feel the strong determination mixed with aching heartbreak in "turning away," or the overwhelming yet deliciously exciting anticipation in "barefoot in the rain." Perhaps it is because Chrissy writes mostly out of personal experiences that her haiku are so infused with emotion, or perhaps that is just a stylistic choice; however, the sensations and feelings included in her haiku are what make them appealing well as easy to relate to for readers. It is in this way that reading Chrissy Hulse's haiku not only becomes a welcome voyage into the past, but also an exercise in how to write excellent haiku.xx

—Alyson Ludek

large blue chair
     father and daughter
          silently side by side

home again
no longer
the tallest

Easter dinner—
the frosted lamb cake



feet in the water
hand in hand
     . . . the endless sand

barefoot in the rain
we confess
those unspoken feelings



early spring chills
   our gowns rustle
      as we march down the field

turning away
wiping tears



Face pressed against the glass staffing at a face similar to her own, she began to cry, "but she was supposed to be a boy!" Stomping her foot, she refused to spend anymore time starring at a baby girl that was not welcome in her home, as far as she was concerned. The house was filled with family members and friends as her mother returned home from the hospital, baby and all. With tears in her eyes, this young girl spends her time watching the celebration from a far, still upset with her mother and unforgiving of her new baby sister. After the visitors leave her mother asks her to please help with the baby. With an unhappy look on her face she stomps into the babies new room. As she sits down her mother places the baby in her arms, immediately she falls in love with her enemy. One smile was all it took to warm her heart up to this bundle of joy and love of her life.

the baby
embraced in her arms
for the first time

©2003 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors