EN340 / IN350 Global Haiku Tradition
Dr. Randy Brooks
Spring 2004
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Katie Steimann

Essay Bob Bolman's Haiku

Awakening the Wonder
haiku by

Katie Steimann

Sometimes we forget the importance of the outside world. We go through life so consumed with thought and self-analysis that we forget the beauty that surrounds us every day. Every moment we experience, every emotion, is in some way inspired by our senses. Haiku is my link between these worlds. It transcends the soul and connects our very being to things that are more tangible. It evokes a complete setting and emotion in very few words.

In this way, haiku are able to resonate with many people. The writer should strive to make the experience universal; yet, still special and unique to each individual. My goal as a writer of haiku is to evoke the moment so that each person who reads it will be able to envision the essence of that moment for themselves. I hope you will connect with that spark, that essence in my haiku. Learn to awaken to the wonder that is all around us, embracing us as we journey through life. —Katie

The title of Katie Steimann's collection, "Awakening the Wonder," wholly captures the essence of her haiku. She has mastered the ability to transform simple, every-day experiences into moments of awe-inspiring beauty. As I read the collection, Katie's haiku seem to come alive before my very eyes, creating wonderful images and scenes I never would have thought to glance at for more than a moment. She weaves feelings, people, and nature together seamlessly, truly awakening readers to the wonder of the world around them.

What immediately impresses the reader is Katie's beautiful sense of word choice. In an art where brevity is valued over verbosity, each word must count, must contribute a piece to the whole. She has found the perfect word necessary to bring to life each situation she expresses in her haiku, words capable of evoking any number of memories and feelings for readers. Whether dealing with romantic love, the importance of family, or a celebration of the hidden beauty of nature, each of Katie's haiku allow the reader to slowly sink into the moment. Read them once, read them hundreds of times; whatever you do, let yourself be awakened to the wonder of Katie Steimann's haiku collection. —Maureen Ritter

late night swim
                  he emerges
                  from the center
of the moon

midnight swim
stirring the moon
with our fingertips

softly shutting the door
just before sunrise

head on my pillow
      miles away
you sing me to sleep

on my pillow
last night's ashes

crying because
I love you . . .
April rain

reaching to touch
the cold corpse
         the young child

a friend's sorrow
my own . . .
silver spring rain

your breath on my cheek
a kiss
in the cool rain

damp summer night
the lime-green tree frog
inspects my life line

you get swallowed
by the crowd
last drop from my bottle

words from
her favorite song
from his lips

working saddle soap
into leather
my hand   your hand   my hand


©2004 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors