Ruth Yarrow's Haiku
Haiku, as Ive come to understand, is the celebration of a moment captured through the mysterious absence of description. It is illustrative, simplistic and perpetually necessitates interpretation. But this does not explain our love for the poetry involved in haiku. We have come to cherish this ancient art form not for its structure, but rather for the raw human association involved in a haiku moment.
When written well, a haiku says what can accumulate to equal pages of other poetry genres. A haiku moment transforms us to a place, time or memory that becomes an intimately personal poem. We are made to laugh, cry and most importantly, remember.
As I have come to know her, Ruth Yarrow seems to be a master of capturing this raw human condition. She is able to recognize moments in life, both significant and insignificant, and transform them into art. Her work is highly universal and yet creates such an exclusive moment for all that read her work.
In the following haiku, Ruth describes a seemingly casual moment that easily reflects the awkward reunion of any reader.
In the same universal fashion, she illustrates a seemingly insignificant moment, accessible to most every reader, in the following:
In response to these similar haiku, perhaps Ruths genius
lies, not in her lyrical word choice, but in her ability to
see a haiku moment in the most infrequent of settings.
In the following poem, Ruth transforms her audience to an early autumn night.
Although she renders an illustrative platform, Ruth provides her audience room for imagination.
In an even greater allowance for interpretation, Ruth illustrates a romantically mysterious haiku:
after the garden party . . . the garden
Although this haiku is somewhat obscure, I found it refreshing
and utterly delightful.
In this haiku, her word usage is both expressive and vivid:
a compelling combination.
In the following haiku, Ruth realistically captures a few "baby moments":
And again in:
In the tender haiku to follow, Ruth narrates as she quietly observes her sleeping baby.
In reading this, one can almost hear the baby breathing as her tiny chest rises and falls. Ruths word usage is effective in an almost hushed rhythm.
In perhaps her most renowned haiku, Ruth profiles perhaps one of the most preciously intimate moments of a womans life.
As a more candid moment, Ruth writes a haiku capable of several applications:
This scene is probably familiar to sisters, mothers, fathers
and even big brothers.
Ruth revolutionizes the ever-evolving haiku art form.
©2001 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors