Play: Night Haiku
Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku (co-authored
the Broken Curve
Flowers in the Snow
By the Sea
contributions to recent anthologies also include over twenty works
of poetry, including one of our class texts, Global Haiku.
Appreciation for the Natural
World With Emphasis on Night/Dark Imagery in Her Haiku
Both an Amazon.com interview and a personally conducted interview
with Harters husband, William Higginson, revealed Harters
appreciation for nature and for all elements of the natural world.
In her Amazon.com interview, Harter states, "Always, place
has formed my imagery." Her earlier work reflects her life
on the east coast, while her more recent work illustrates the great
beauty of the western United States that Harter has found since
she moved to Santa Fe. It was this very same beauty that served
as the partial impetus for Harter and Higginsons move to New
asked about his wifes plethora of nighttime/dark imagery in
her haiku, Higginson had this to say about Harter:
has always been sensitive to the dark, in particular to twilight
(what the French call "crepuscule"), which can be either
at morning or evening. She is fortunate to have excellent vision
in low-light conditions as well as better-than-average long-range
vision, and finds the border zones between day and night, and between
the darkness of space and the illumination of planets and stars,
fascinating. She also reads widely, especially in the natural sciences.
was Harters poignant night/dark imagery, coupled with her
keen ability to invoke images of clear, distinct elements of nature
(i.e. the sky, animals, and the outdoors) that attracted me to Harters
work. My favorite haiku of Harters, which has both nighttime
and dark imagery, was written in 1999, and is actually the result
of some of her earlier work that never came out of her personal
files (this is also the haiku that earned her the first runner-up
recognition in the Valentine Awards from The Herons Nest).
I braid my hair
into the dark
this haiku for its simplicity, effective wording, and beautiful
imagery. It incorporates an image of nighttime, an image of something
dark (the womans hair), and a sense of nature or natural beauty,
both in the evening rain and in the woman. I get the impression
that she is just out of the shower or bath; she is wearing only
a towel or a robe as she braids her hair as she prepares to sleep.
Another example that shares this same elegance and combination of
night and nature is found in Global Haiku, page 58.
on the grapesthe lovers
cant stop laughing
imagery in this haiku is jovial yet tranquil at the same time. The
image of the lovers laughing conveys a sense of excitement from
the laughter and the love being exchanged between the couple. Furthermore,
the deep purple imagery from the "moonlight" and "the
grapes" provides the scene with the serenity of an evening
light by the moon and filled with the love of two people. A third
haiku by Harter captures a very different aspect of nature surrounded
the mountains on the moon
Play, pg. 8
haiku intrigued me because it incorporates images not typically
found in haiku-telescopes, the moon (in terms of astronomy rather
than a romantic context), and other elements of astronomy. These
entities are not often considered when contemplating elements of
nature. However, this is part of what makes Harters work so
unique and appealing. She has such an appreciation for and connection
to nature that she can write and express her feelings about nature
and the natural world in ways that make her readers see and imagine
the world very differently from how they typically do.
fosters a heightened awareness of nature and all that it encompasses.
Many of her haiku accomplish this through various images of darkness,
nighttime, and twilight-that hazy, purple period in both the morning
and the evening that signify a transition between night and day.