2011 Contest Results!
The Results of the Earth Day Children's Haiku Competition are listed below:
All 2011 entries will be published on Sketchbook Haiku Jounal
An excellent turn out of haiku!
Our main criteria was good writing which captured the haiku spirit. Not all the entries were necessarily 5-7-5, and as this was only a guideline, you will find the occasional exception.
A big thank you to all who entered, we enjoyed over 250 entries from various countries.
*All haiku comments below kindly written by an'ya, Haiku Society of America Judge
Overall First Choice:
The overall winner for 2011 is Amy Claire Rose Smith (13) from Darlington, County Durham, UK for this wonderful haiku poem:
Earth Day dusk --
falling all around me
7-9 years old
the water is smooth
a bird dips down, and away
ripples on the water
Barrington, IL USA, Teacher: Michelle Pezzuto
Comment: This haiku by Katy Smith still adheres to the 5,7,5 format we were originally taught in our various school systems (which is fine) although nowadays many haiku poets are using just a short, long, short
count since the Japanese sound syllables differ in length from English syllables. Having said this, Katy's haiku moment is as smoothly written as
her first line "the water is smooth" which opens the moment with a "wide
setting", and then in line two she zeros or zooms in on a bird dipping down,
then she takes that bird away and all that is left in line three, are
"ripples on the water." A very good use of "showing" us this moment rather
than "telling" us what to think about it. Well done!
a single honey bee
Philip Painting (age 9) (single entry)
Comment: In this haiku by Philip, we are visually
transported to the wide setting of a "spring meadow" full of flowers, and
yet in line two we are given "a single bee"perhaps going from flower to flower throughout the meadow to "sip nectar." Nicely written with fine juxtaposition and
continuity throughout all three lines. Thanks to this author for sharing his moment.
right over the mountainside
straight into a lake
Ben, 4th Grade
Teacher: Liana Williams, Pacific Palisades, CA USA
Comment: Here we have a very good visual haiku by Ben of literally what a mountainside waterfall does, it falls from the top, right over the mountainside and straight into the lake. If we concentrate on writing exactly what we see in nature, the haiku will almost always come out good. Too often poets try to put too much into the moment and add poetic
devices to enhance the image. Ben shows us that it isn't necessary and we
should just accept each moment as a gift and leave it the way nature made it.
10 -12 yrs old
the moon rises
to let the light out
Camden Smith (12) (single entry)
Keyser Primary-Middle School, USA
Comment: A fine haiku example written by Camden with
well-thought out word choices. It is interesting where this author chose to
break line 2 but because we all pause differently when we speak, another
author might have chosen to place the words "to let" at the end of line 2,
however in this haiku, I believe that Camden's version works very
rivers and oceans
with salmon going upstream
through the passages
Kristina Horchover, 6th Grade
Teacher: Scott Woodworth, The Out of Door Academy, Sarasota, Florida, USA
Comment: A lovely haiku with an especially unique third
line. We all know about salmon going upstream and we all know about rivers
and oceans, but saying "through the passages" leaves Kristina's haiku
open-ended so that each reader is free to imagine all sort of different
passages. be it in between rocks, over the falls, even time a passage of
time. etc. Keep up the good work!
sun shows behind clouds.
shimmering rainbow appears -
river sweeps image away
Carl Mann (12) 7th grade
Kensington CT, USA Teacher: Elaine Kotler, Saint Paul School
Comment: I like this haiku by Carl for its concept of the
river sweeping the image of the rainbow away. To improve our haiku, we need
to include articles such as "a" and "the" so when the haiku is read by
others, it will be just as if we were speaking to them directly in person.
If we leave out articles, our haiku will sound choppy and not flow as
smoothly as possible. Even so, as I said Carl's haiku shows depth, attention
to detail and imagination.
13-15 yrs old
Earth Day dusk --
falling all around me
Amy Claire Rose Smith (13) (single entry)
Darlington, County Durham, UK
Comment: This particular haiku by Amy is absolutely
stunning! and is what's known in the world of old-time haiku writers as a
"wish-I-had-written-that-one-myself." Albeit, I would humbly recommend
removing the emdash after line one in order to allow her haiku to pivot. For
instance it can be read two ways like so: "Earth Day dusk falling all around
me" and then "falling all around me blackbird song." - a natural pivot in
any haiku is desirable. The use of "d" sounds in line one is commendable, as
well as the "l" sounds in line two carried over with the word "blackbird"
in line three. I cannot overly stress the perfection of this write!
the soft trill of birds
through the trees, straight to my ears
I listen to its claim
Michele H, 8th Grade
Teacher: Jane Scott, Kilo Middle School, Auburn, WA
Comment: An intriguing haiku by Michele insofar as its 3rd
line especially. Normally personal opinion or putting "self" into a haiku is
to be avoided, however this author manages to include "I" in a way that is
acceptable because of her use of one of the five senses (sound) via the
word "listen." Also direct personification which is giving human
characteristics to something in nature is not acceptable, but here again,
Michele manages to subtly include the "soft trill of birds" as a claim which
is subtle enough not to personify the birds. Excellent work Michelle.
rolling in the grass.
rolling over little ants -
then helping them up.
Dallas Kaufman (14), 8th grade
Teacher: Elaine Kotler, Saint Paul School, Kensington CT, USA
Comment: This haiku by Dallas reminds me of Issa (one of
the old masters.) Issa wrote about the little things that are important in
our lives and how to treat other creatures with kindness and respect -and
many of his haiku were also written about insects. The empathy of this
moment has "beauty of thought" which is often included in mainstream poetry
and not nearly enough in our haiku, so kudos to you Dallas for sharing the
tenderness of this moment with us, a fine example for Earth Day, which we
should all heed.
16-18 yrs old
he cuts out an akala
from an old tyre
James Bundi (17)
* James is the outgoing chairman of the Bambochaas Haiku Club
Bahati c.c Secondary School, Nairobi, Kenya, Africa
Comment: Quite a fine haiku by James that links
man and nature together nicely for this Earth Day Contest. If there had been
more haiku submitted in this age category, I still would have most likely
chosen this one. Akala (an example of a regional season word) are the tyre
sandals worn by many people in Kenya who make good use of recycling what is
already available to them. Wide setting in line one, subject and action verb
in line two and follow through in line three. A perfect example of atypical
haiku format, and in just 13 syllables and 11 words, we are walking right
there in the moment .
View Earthday Haiga (Art & Haiku)N Enties 2011
View Earthday Haiku Contest Winners 2010