Heroin, cancer –
nothing could stop your prayer:
a saint of music.
The history haiku for today is to honor the birth of the legendary jazz musician John Coltrane (1926 – 1967). He struggled with addiction as a young man, and sadly, his career was cut short by liver cancer at the age of 40, but he had an outsized impact on jazz and music in general. Especially towards the end of his life, he believed his music had a spiritual dimension, one that transcended any particular religion and tended towards a universalism.
John Coltrane has made an appearance here on Illustrated Poetry before – in an illustration of the poem In Memoriam John Coltrane by Michael Stillman. I’ve posted it below (or click here to go to the original post from 2014). Have a great weekend!
There is nothing more
To learn by watchful eyes, said
Today’s history haiku is to commemorate the discovery of Amalthea, one of the moons of Jupiter, by E.E. Barnard in 1892. It was the first new moon of Jupiter discovered since Galileo’s discoveries in 1610 and the last planetary satellite discovered by direct visual observation (as opposed to photographic observation). Barnard (1857-1923) was an American observational astronomer who discovered numerous astronomical features by both direct visual observation and photography, including 15 comets. In the 1880’s there was a prize offered of $200 per newly discovered comet: coming from very modest means, Bernard seized the opportunity and turned in 5 new ones. He used his prize money to build his family a house.
I’m pleased to report that I’ve been keeping up with the daily history haiku. Last Saturday’s haiku, on the Rock Springs Massacre, sadly highlighted the fact that I could, without too much effort, make these haiku a litany of war, battles, and tragedy. In addition to preferring to learn about a new event, I’m trying to vary the topic a little so that is not the case. I suspect, though, that some days that will be hard. Collage and haiku by me. Have a good weekend!
For a few months, I commuted to work twice a week on a bus, and this one was overheard on one such ride. Although this was the first “overheard” I wrote down, it took me a while to draw it. The young man who was speaking was talking to another man across the aisle, although the two did not appear to know each other otherwise. The disappointment of the young man with his mother seemed to revolve squarely around his middle name – no other example of her “failings” was presented. Pen and watercolor pencil on paper by me.
To view the other “Overheards” in this series click on the title:
I Expected the Notary to be on a Unicycle
Meat and Potatoes, Myself
Have a great Thursday!
Workers’ unequal pay:
Deep coal seams, deep racism
Bodies left unburied
I am someone who does well with assignments and “projects” – even if they are self-assigned! So in order to get out of the poetry lull I’ve been in for awhile, I assigned myself the task to write a history haiku a day. People spend lifetimes mastering the art of English haiku and I don’t pretend that these are true haiku in that sense. But I find the strictures of very short poetry to be helpful, so I went with it. Each day I look up the historical events for the day and pick one, trying to favor those I don’t know much (or anything) about.
Today’s haiku recalls the Rock Springs Massacre that took place in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1885. A mob of white miners turned on their Chinese co-workers, killing 28 of them and injuring 15. The remaining Chinese miners were driven from the settlement. Tensions over unequal pay (Chinese miners were paid less), long simmering anti-Chinese sentiments, and an unsuccessful attempt by white miners to unionize had reached a boiling point. You can read more at Library of Congress’ Today in History (Wikipedia also has a lengthy article). Poem and ink design by me.
The month of May was a bit crazy over here in my life on the outside of Illustrated Poetry! I apologize to everyone who left me such awesome comments on my last post – I may be behind in responding to them, but know that they were read and much appreciated.
I used to feel bad that I doodled in meetings, but I’ve since read at least one article (like this one) that says that doodling is a method of concentration and synthesizing information. So I’m off the hook (a little). I am often pleasantly surprised what my mind comes up with when it’s supposed to be listening to something else. A very nice scientific presentation on spores resulted in the doodle above!
I hope everyone is well and I’ve been enjoying catching up with all of your blogs!