The Haiku and Visual Arts Program

This fall, Arts For All was thrilled to collaborate with Amy Losak, a Senior Vice President at Ketchum Public Relations in New York, on a new program for second graders at P.S 163 in the Bronx which brought to colorful life the lyrical poetic legacy of Amy’s late mother, Sydell Rosenberg, a public school teacher, ESL teacher and published American haiku poet who lived in New York City.

Arts For All Teaching Artist Vidho Lorville led six visual arts workshops that used several of Ms. Rosenberg’s haiku as teaching tools. Under his instruction, the students painted charming landscapes inspired by the short poems. They then pasted on the haiku animal characters which were colored with crayons, cut out and applied to the scenic backgrounds they had painted. Teaching artist Shawn Shafner, who presided with Vidho over the first and final workshops in the series, also helped facilitate the children’s understanding of haiku, telling them that they should try to “see” poetry everywhere, even in the small moments around them, and make art from those moments.

Here’s a piece of student artwork from the workshops.

Losak:Haiku-01

Following are the haiku which Vidho selected for the workshops:

Prodding a fall leaf
after the rain – sparrow
in a new puddle.

Traffic-wise cat
crosses the street for better prey –-
suburban lunch hour.

Against the blue sky
a green parrot
on a dead branch.

Crossing the wide sky
a blue jay is held briefly
in the window square.

For a moment  one
circling round each other —
two white butterflies.

When the sun came out
my turtle climbed on a rock
and conjured a view.

Adventures over,
the cat sits in the fur ring
of his tail, and dreams.

In a quiet cove
ducks abandon their formation
swimming after bread.

“It has been a delight and an honor to work with Arts For All and PS 163 on this lovely program. The kids were so involved and many of them were very focused. I think they had fun while they were learning about how simple words can lead to visual thinking and artistic expression. I believe that poetry and art paired together can deepen children’s appreciation of wordplay, language and the visual richness of the world around them. I also had a great time reading my mom’s haiku. I acted them out, almost like little plays. I hope the kids enjoyed this!” Amy Losak

Losak:Haiku-24In addition to making pictures, they also were encouraged to write their own haiku. Here are a few examples:

Leaves

Stargazer lilies
Dry leaves falling on the floor
Crackling like an egg

Stargazer Lilly

Stargazer lily
Is getting wet by the rain
Beautiful it is.

Pollen

Star gazer lilies
Pollen falling on my hand
Feels so very soft

Losak:Haiku-11

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