Ruth Yarrow taught ecology in colleges and environmental centers for several dozen years, and continues to work for peace and justice as a retired volunteer. When their two adventurous kids fledged, she and her husband moved to the northwest where they revel in mountain backpacking. Ruth has had hundreds of haiku in the major journals and five books of haiku published. She has given readings and workshops, judged contests, and served as editor and HSA Northwest Regional Coordinator. She finds that writing haiku helps her be aware of the richness of life.
1) Why do you write haiku?
In the early 1970s I read about haiku when teaching an environmental studies course at Stockton State College in NJ on how people from different cultures see nature, as expressed in their writing. My students and I tried writing haiku and I got hooked. I've continued to write because it helps me be aware of those fleeting emotions and enriches my life.
2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?
I enjoy reading a variety of others' poems – Emily Dickinson, Richard Wright, Carolyn Forche and Pablo Neruda are among my favorites. While I mostly write haiku, I also enjoy the hard exoskeleton provided by the sonnet and the oozing freedom of free verse.
3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?
warm rain before dawn:
my milk flows into her
Cicada 5:1, 1981
up under the gull's wing
Frogpond IX:4 1986 Henderson first prize
I step into old growth:
autumn moon deeper
Modern Haiku XXVI:2 1995
If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response to the three little questions that Ruth Yarrow answered. You must be a published poet to participate.
Haiku - Three Questions will be on hiatus next week. I'm attending the HSA quarterly meeting in Winston-Salem, NC on December 5, 6, and 7.
Andrew Riutta will be our guest poet when Haiku - Three Questions returns on December 14th.