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Haikus to Order

As part of their Spring Term class in Poetic Forms, a group of Washington and Lee students will be spending three hours today (Wednesday, May 9) writing haiku poems on demand for anyone who wants to order one.

“We’re deliberately doing this around the time people need to send Mother’s Day cards, but the haikus can be for anyone,” said Lesley Wheeler, the Henry S. Fox Professor of English, who is teaching the course. “We’ve never done this before, and we’ll practice writing on commission beforehand. It’s a wild experiment. I wanted the students to do something that is about involving poetry in ordinary life, and as a means of being social with other people.”

Haiku is a Japanese poetry form and is traditionally written in three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second line and five in the third.

The students will write out the haikus in an attractive way on a mail-ready postcard. The suggested donation for each haiku is $5 (checks preferred, cash accepted), with all proceeds going to the Rockbridge Area Relief Association.