Monday, January 14, 2008

a-h-h summer

As a senior at Mills College (Early Childhood Education/Art) in Oakland, California, a project was required for a children's literature class. I challenged myself by writing and illustrating a children's book of poems. A four year old son kept life relaxing, rewarding, and greatly treasured. I experienced the world through the eyes of a child - one of my favorite experiences still, but now with my four your old granddaughter, Willow. Another book could be ready for creation. Willow has written poetry since she was three years old and created wonderful art since she could hold a crayon, paint brush, chalk, and pencil.

Over the next few days I will post pages of "a-h-h summer" and savor the memories of each one . Enjoy.

Stephen explains the concept below on how the book evolved with his definition of haiga.

"These poems were originally hand written by Judy directly on to the illustrations as seen in the graphics. They were and are part of a book intended for children. These have been selected as a set by me (Stephen Morse) for this 2005 edition Juice online. They have never been published for a wider audience.

I was reading about haiga, which is apparently a japanese version of this idea of mixing calligraphy and image, specifically for the haiku form. Judy's pieces were created in the late 70's, not as some variation on a form or format, but as a project that tied together a couple of Judy's talents. The originals are watercolors and ink. As those familiar with Judy's work know, she works with spare images that she sometimes call "glimpses". Sometimes they resemble haiku, sometimes, senryu, and other japanese forms that appear to be fashionable at the time, but they are not meant to be any specific "form."

Judy simply (or perhaps not so simply) writes what she observes and does so as cleanly as possible with a minimum of words. I suspect that is the heart of the "whatchamaku's" (whatchamaku is a word Judy coined to satisfy the need that some people have for a label that seems to be chained to short imagist poems)popularity, but "glimpses" seems to be a more accurate description."


barbara hilal said...

you know me I have to add...
fragments of life!!

Stephen Morse said...

I'm glad you have decided to share these glimpses and drawings with a larger audience. they are too good to remain unseen.