Ms. Harr was a haiku author and editor who promoted the Japanese artform, founding the Western World Haiku Society. She passed away March 3, 2006 at 93.
The first time I sent a submission to her Dragonfly Quarterly she sent back guidelines, which listed the "isn'ts" of haiku. It isn't a prose sentence divided in 5-7-5 syllables or padded with modifiers. It isn't an intellectual statement, a pretty picture, a moral judgment. But it is heightened awareness, Zen-like being in the moment.
Ms. Harr not only reached out to every submitter with this list, she wrote personal notes. She showed me how I had written "quickly the fog came" in Western-style, while in haiku it would be "a sudden fog."
I shall forever be grateful for her helping hand and the further understanding and love she gave me for haiku.
Here are a few haiku of mine she published in Dragonfly:
A gust of wind:
the recently beaded branch
and now the parchment flaking
of the manzanita.
A sudden fog
covers the fading moon
And I was pleased to be a runner-up in one of her contests with this:
New Year's morning:
ice in the bucket...wedge of geese
breaking the silence.
Any writer can benefit from being in the moment, by putting into words a small slice of life. Did another writer help you see more clearly, reach out a helping hand in an unforgettable way?