This summer, haiku will give Arboretum visitors a new way to connect with nature
along the Woodland Trail. The year-long special interpretive trail, Seasons of Haiku will open on Saturday, May 5 and will remain accessible along the Woodland Trail through April 2019.
Vistors can pick up a Seasons of Haiku brochure at the Corning Visitor Center or at the trailhead on the Woodland Trail to begin their exploration of this new interpretive trail. As visitors explore the 1.5-mile, fully accessible Woodland Trail, 15 signs will prompt them to use a QR code to listen to haikus read by their authors.
The exhibit was created in conjunction with the Haiku Society of America, which hosted a competition to select the 60 poems chosen for the interpretive trail. Poems were judged by a panel of award-winning Haiku and Senyu poets and selected based on how well they fit with Holden Forests & Gardens’ mission and vision. The haiku on display will change seasonally, providing a changing experience to match the changes in the forest.
Originating in Japan, haiku is brief, objective and sensory – a literary snapshot of a moment in nature. Most haiku take longer to think about than to read. In this way, haiku are written not just by the poet, but also by the reader who brings his or her own set of experiences to the poem, allowing it to blossom differently for each person.
“As members of a texting and tweeting generation, we employ brevity with the written word,” said Julie Warther, the Midwest regional coordinator for the Haiku Society of America, who worked with the Arboretum’s education staff to help create the exhibit. “Haiku calls
the reader to look more closely at the something of the poem. When we do this, we often notice something new and develop an appreciation that grows out of that discovery.”
To celebrate the new interpretive trail, an exhibit of haiku written by members and guests are on display at the Corning Visitor Center.