Helen Russell’s last haiku

This very touching story about Helen Russell’s last moment and final haiku was sent by Tanya MacDonald to the haiku community:
 
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Dear Haiku Northwest folks,

I have some sad news. As some of you already know, one of our members, Helen Russell, passed away earlier this month. She was 101 years old and much loved by all who knew her.

Connie Hutchison spoke with one of Helen’s sons: “Mac said that Helen actually dictated her haiku to the nurse.  The nurse went out to her station to write it more neatly, and when she returned, Helen had passed away.  She had been alert and mobile, so it was unexpected; the doctor said he couldn’t see any particular cause so he called it “natural causes.”   In our conversation, I mentioned it was customary for the haiku masters to write a death haiku.  Mac was very intrigued by this idea.”

(Earlier, Helen had been moved to a hospital room, where she had requested that the furniture be rearranged so she could admire the view.)

Helen’s final haiku:


first night in new digs
arranging furniture
I no longer have



Here is a link to Helen’s page on the Haiku Northwest website:  http://sites.google.com/site/haikunorthwest/poems-by-members/helen-russell It includes sample poems, links to photographs of her 100th birthday party, as well as the article that the Issaquah Press published about her in 2009.

She was a remarkable woman and will be much missed for her bright smile, sharp wit, and sublime haiku.

-Tanya
 

 

 

 

Originality does not consist in saying

what no one has ever said before,

but in saying exactly what you think yourself.

                        James Fitz-James Stephen

 

Source: Writing with pictures: how to write and illustratechildren’s books by Uri Shulevitz

National Haiku Writing Month (February 2011)

 

“Write one haiku a day for the month of February! Why February? Because it’s the shortest month—for the world’s shortest form of poetry. Join poets around the world who pledge to write at least one haiku a day for National Haiku Writing Month during the shortest month of the year.” (Source: NaHaiWriMo‘s website)

This fabulour event was created by Michael Dylan Welch.  Participate by sharing your haiku on the Facebook Groups NaHaiWriMo (for English speakers) or NaHaiWriMo en français (for French speakers), or simply post your daily haiku on your blog or write them in notebooks for your own pleasure.

Make February a haiku writing month!

 

Get well soon — Halls

 

The company Halls now prints positive messages printed on the wrapper of their cough drops:

hallsmessge2

You’ve survived tougher

 

You can do it and you know it.

 

Get through it.

 

Don’t waste a precious minute.

 

Don’t try harder. Do harder!

 

Don’t wait to get started.

Be unstoppable.

 

Impress yourself today.

 

* * *

 

Halls

 

payday

she unwraps

a cough drops

(JT)