Selected Haiku

Catherine Sadowski

Global Haiku Tradition
Millikin University, Spring 2000

Catherine Sadowski

I started writing haiku when I was still in elementary school. My teacher taught me that haiku were written with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second, and five in the third. Altogether, there are seventeen syllables. The traditionalists of Japan, as well as some Americans, hold this to be the only way to write haiku. This is not so. The haiku I write has as little as ten syllables in total to as many as twenty-two.

I've always loved writing poetry. I wanted to improve my previous haiku that I've written over the last few years, and now I believe I have finally made progress. Also, I wished to know more about the culture of Japan and the haiku poets who live there. Besides learning information about the most famous poets, Bashô, Issa, Shiki, and Buson, I now know a great deal about other poets from attending the Global Haiku Festival.

This collection represents the improvements in my work that I had hoped to accomplish for the Global Haiku Traditions course. I also acquired a great deal of new understandings about haiku, haibun, tanka and various other poetry along the way.

I would like to thank Ellen Compton-Tejera for all the help she has given me with the interview and profile I wrote on her haiku, and I would like to thank Dr. Randy Brooks for making our class a memorable one.

—Cathy Sadowski

stars in heaven
I long to hold his hand
in their dim light

sobbing in my pillow
he reaches across his sleeping bag
to stroke my hair

goodnight kiss . . .
my father's stern face
in the window



    behind the snow fort
                 I cower with
my new broken glasses

snowy evening . . .
my tears
on his pillow



his eternal sleep . . .

I never got the chance
     to say goodbye

in the garden
we kiss . . .
a rosebud opens



melting snow—
slush splashing
beneath the little boy's boots




after the storm—
sun's reflection
in my brother's red wagon

©2001 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors