Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Haiku

H is for haiku. Today we are joined by up and coming poet and writer, Cindy Pereira. Cindy was one of three writers chosen for Edmonton New Voices 2012. Congrats and thanks Cindy for joining us today.  

By Bill Boudreau

Why do you write poetry?
Tough question. I think I write poetry because I find it to be far more cathartic than prose or any other literary form.

What kind of poetry do you write?
Free-verse, for the most part—sometimes I play with haiku. I also like to include some sort of narrative aspect to my work while still playing around with rhythm and my choice of words. I like to write poetry that rolls easily off of the tongue. Slant rhyme and alliteration are my best friends.

What inspires you to write poetry?
Everyone and everything: people that I know or have met, other authors and their work, the images I get while I listen to a particularly moving song, events in media and popular culture, an emotional response to a film, folklore and mythology, fear, heart-break, happiness, historical events… I can go on and on.

Who is your favourite poet? Why?
Charles Bukowski because his work is just so raw and gritty. He is able to take the most miserable, the most mundane, or better yet, the most debase aspects of life, and turn them into something that is beautiful and worth reading. He throws so much of himself into his work that I feel almost as if I know him personally.

What is your favourite poem? Why?
Since I’m on a bit of Charles Bukowski kick here, I’m going to have to say his poem “Air and light and time and space.” I like it because I believe it sums up the sentiments held by those who create

 A piece of advice you would like to share with your fellow poets?
Read what you want to write—you can learn so much by even just surrounding yourself in the genre that you want to work with.

Cindy Pereira's work can be found in the most recent edition of Confluence, a literary journal produced by Grant MacEwan University. She was recently chosen for Edmonton New Voices 2012, in which she will be paired with mentor and have the opportunity to read her work. 

What is a haiku?
It is a traditional Japanese poem. There are 17 syllables in a haiku, which are broken down into 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line, and 5 in the third and final line. The traditional haiku also includes a seasonal element. According to, "haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression." To write a haiku, try focusing on a single moment. Try writing in present tense. Cindy's haiku, below, helped her win a mentorship with Edmonton New Voices. You will notice that there are three haiku's that are grouped together by a theme. You will also notice the word "snow" in the title, which indicates winter as the season.  

the first snow of the season
the earth is a piece
of loose-leaf paper; white and
unmarked by creatures

soon, the poetry
of feet; prints and small and big, will
cover up the white space, oh,

canvas of first snow,
such a pretty thing, creates
artists of us all!

--by Cindy Pereira 

--Write a haiku about your childhood hero. Or
--Write a poem that explains why Spiderman and Wolverine, our waiting outside the principal's office. Or
--Writer three haiku's that link together to tell a story. 

--Haiku for kids. Click here.
--Haiku game. Click here.
--Haiku masters and examples. Click here.

If you liked this post please let others know. Tomorrow, upcoming writer and poet Vanessa Eccles, will be joining us to talk her book of poetry,"Psalms of Me."  I hope you come back for that. 

Bill Boudreau is a mechanic who builds and restores hot rods. In his spare time he draws in exchange for home cooked food and tea. He is the resident illustrator on this blog. Stay tuned for more of his drawings and his upcoming storytime series debuting on this blog May 16, 2012. 


  1. Thanks for your post on haiku, Rena. I wrote some...but WAY back in high school, so this is great exercise for me. Bill's illustration is great!
    Mine's up!

  2. I'm looking forward to stretching my writing repertoire with haiku, thanks Rena and Cindy. Great illo again Bill!

  3. What a nice Haiku, Cindy - great interview too! I'm off to write mine now!

  4. Congrats Cindy on being chosen for the Edmonton New Voices 2012. Rena thanks for the fun haiku challenge and sharing yet another awesome illustration by your husband! Spiderman looks ticked. haha.

    Here's mine-

    Thoughts from a Tulip

    I can see the sun
    through the bare budded branches.
    Slowly he rises.

    He will warm my stem.
    He will relax my pedals.
    I will soon open.

    I move and I bend.
    All day he moves, I follow.
    Dusk 'til dawn I wait.

    1. Spiderman isn't impressed that he got sent to the principal's office. Only three people get picked a year so I'm super excited for Cindy (I use to go to school with her).

      I love your poem. I can just this flower looking up and waiting for the sun to rise. I'm thinking of a bright orange/red tulip. I can't wait to get outside and start planting flowers.

    2. Thank you Pam!

      Rena, thank you. That's always fun to decorate the yard with flowers. Enjoy :)

    3. Very nice, Jennifer. Really great rhythm and language.

  5. Nice poem, Jennifer! I posted my Haiku on my blog!

    1. Thank you Lori, I'm off the check out yours.

  6. Hello, Rena and Cindy! This is a great interview. I remember how much I used to love writing haikus when I was younger. They probably weren't really proper haikus, but it was fun!

    Hope you're having a good week and happy A to Z!!

  7. Cindy, Thanks for the inspiration your words provided! Congrats on being chosen for the Edmonton New Voices 2012. That ought to be an awesome experience.

    1. Thanks Penny. I will have to check in with Cindy and see how her mentorship goes.

  8. Okay Rena! Haiku attempt. Again, so much fun. BTW, don't hesitate to critique. Learning Zone, ahead.

    Apples for Teacher

    Within the core__seeds.
    Protected, contained, untouched
    Nurturer appears.

    Pages open wide.
    Words water, loosen, touch.
    The nurtured absorbs.

    Minds expand, create.
    Thoughts exchange, ideas unleash
    Seeds, Nurturer grow.

  9. I love it. Did you mean to capitalize "Nurturer" in the last line? I like the first line with the underscore before seeds. Using all "ed" words in the second line is nice. Comparing kids learning to a seed growing creates a strong visual in my mind. The title adds to the story as the kid's minds are the apples. The apple sitting on a teacher's desk is something many of us are familiar with.

  10. Thank you very much Rena! My attempt was to show that the teacher also learned. Oops, should I have kept "Nurturer" in lowercase? Too much?

    1. No. I see that you capitalized Nurturer above. Now that I realize that Nurturer was meant to be capitalized I get that the teacher also learned.


Thanks for your comments. Remember to keep them kid friendly.