Three lines, seventeen syllables.
That was the only rule among a group of Haiku poetry writers from, or with a connection to, Sherkin Island who kept in touch during the lockdown by sharing their poems via WhatsApp.
Since March, the group has created over 200 Haiku (a type of short-form poetry originally from Japan) as a way of keeping the community connected.
Now, with the support of Cork County Library & Arts Service and the Creative Ireland Programme, the collection has been gathered into a limited edition book available for €10, with all profits going to fund other creative initiatives on Sherkin Island.
The Haiku poems featured in ‘Together Apart – Haiku from a locked-down Sherkin Island’ are mainly nature-based, mirroring the beauty of the changing seasons, but they also reflect the impact of Covid19 on this small community.
As well as the poems, the book captures the lively threads of conversations, quips and feedback, which in itself, tell a story of life in lockdown. It also features drawings of birds by many of the group members.
Tess Leak, a Baltimore-based artist and member of the group, said: “Very often a Haiku from one person sparked off a number of others in response. It was a lovely, collaborative creative process that kept us all connected.”
A limited number of the books are available for €10 including P&P within Ireland (email [email protected] with Haiku as the subject if you’d like to order a copy).
The ping of WhatsApp messages continues as the sixteen members of the group carry on sharing their Haiku poems.