ABOUT BIKEWAY HAIKU

ABOUT BIKEWAY HAIKU

Do you use the Minuteman Bikeway to commute to work or get around town?  For exercise or to enjoy nature? As a place to take a walk with friends?  Write a haiku about your experiences and send it to us!  Some of the haiku poems created by the community will be painted on 10 miles of Bikeway connecting Arlington, Lexington and Bedford.

Next time you are on the Bikeway, notice what is going on around you and share what you see or hear by writing a haiku. Maybe you will write about the beauty of a birdsong, or maybe you will write about the anger of seeing an empty plastic water bottle floating on your favorite pond, not far from a family of swans.

We invite you to give it a try – it's fun and challenging to play with language and capture your experiences in a short poem with specific rules.  For this project, we are using these rules: 3 lines total; first line is 5 syllables; second line is 7 syllables; third line is 5 syllables. 

In your own voice, sing
of squirrels, frogs, birds, bikes and
light dancing on leaves!

Take a look at some inspiring examples to get a better idea of the format.  Then send us your poem.

25th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

The volunteer bike committees of Arlington, Lexington and Bedford are working together to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Minuteman Bikeway by creating 10 miles of haiku poetry. We invite you to join us by contributing a haiku poem of your own! 

The Bikeway is an extraordinary community resource, one of the first and one of the busiest rail to trail bike paths in New England. It travels through many beautiful and inspiring natural places as well as busy town centers. Please take a few minutes or a few days to craft a haiku celebrating your favorite spot, or a fleeting moment, or an interesting memory from your time on the Bikeway.  Share your experiences through BIKEWAY HAIKU, a community art/poetry project.

WHY HAIKU?

Haiku is a Japanese poetry form often used to celebrate nature and call attention to small, closely observed, and ephemeral moments.  It can involve humor or something unexpected along with an evocation of mood and beauty.  Although a haiku can be read quickly, these short poems often offer ideas and images to take away for longer reflection. 

We thought these qualities make haiku an ideal form to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Minuteman Bikeway in 3 neighboring towns.  Often we are travelling the bikeway at a high speed, but there is so much natural beauty in its adjacent green spaces to experience, remember and preserve.  The haiku form offers the opportunity to capture favorite places, vistas, or encounters, and share them with neighbors just as we share the road.

SELECTION PROCESS

A selection committee will choose up to 100 haiku for installation on the Bikeway in the three towns. All submitted haiku will be published on our website.  Additional haiku may be displayed in public spaces as other opportunities arise.

COMPOSITION RULES

All haiku should be three lines long and composed with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the last.  There are no rules for capitalization and punctuation, so you can use both creatively for a specific effect or leave them out entirely.  We prefer haiku poems with no title.

WANT HELP?

We hope to hold haiku workshops led by poets to help get people started and/or give feedback on poems. Please check back for a schedule.

Stop by Arlington Public Art's booth during Feast of the East in Capitol Square, East Arlington on June 16 and meet Anne and Christopher Ellinger; they will be giving tips for composition and serving as "haiku translators" – trying to put your suggestions or memories into haiku form.

SUBMIT

Send your haiku to: bikewayhaiku@gmail.com or use the submission form here.

PROJECT LEADERS

Cecily Miller, Project Director
Liz LaManche, Consulting Artist
Members of the Bicycle Advisory Committees for Arlington, Lexington and Bedford

RESOURCES

These are some websites that offer guidelines and suggestions for composing haiku.

Creative Writing Now https://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-a-haiku.html

wikiHow to do anything https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Haiku-Poem

Kidzone http://www.kidzone.ws/poetry/haiku.htm

A California elementary school teacher's site: http://www.edu.pe.ca/stjean/playing%20with%20poetry/Hennessey/howtohaiku.htm