Illawong Winter Meeting 2021

Illawong Haiku Group held their Winter meeting on Tuesday 15th June at the home of member Ros Pitt. While the weather was quite dreary outside it did not match the warm and congenial mood inside. It was lovely to welcome Rita back who we now consider a valuable member of our small but very enthusiastic group. We discussed the use of Imagery in Haiku based on a recent presentation by Joshua Gage featured on The Haiku Foundation website. Our Spring meeting will be a ginko when we will observe and gather inspiration to write haiku to each of the five types of imagery: Visual, Auditory, Tactile, Olfactory and Gustatory.

L to R: Rita Potente, Ros Pitt and Alison Miller

As always, members circulated their new haiku creations for commentary written to a Winter theme and an open theme. It is encouraging to see the progress being made by our less experienced haikuists.

Part of the learning experience is furthering our knowledge of Japanese culture. Burrowing down the rabbit hole of reading available on The Haiku Foundation website I came across jisei (death poems). I commend further reading. An example:

though I heard
everyone goes this road
I didn’t expect that
I’d be on it yesterday or today

Ariwara no Narihira, 825-880

Just for fun and to test our judging skills, a list of 10 published haiku was circulated and each member asked to number them according to their preference. The final analysis showed little consensus between members. The outcome highlighted the difficult task judges have in determining the best haiku from hundreds of submissions. Likewise it highlighted the importance of  encouraging everyone to continue to submit their work for publication and competitions. A well composed haiku always has a chance of being accepted and there is always the possibility that a competition judge might favour your haiku over another.

L to R: Margaret Mahony, Patricia Meredith and Carol Reynolds

We finished our meeting sharing haiku from the haiku bowl whilst enjoying freshly made sandwiches prepared by Margaret.

Carol Reynolds

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