A special treat: Molly Forrester, a gifted young haikuist, age 16, is sharing her haiku which you will treasure.
A Nymph Takes Action
by Molly Forrester
by the sun himself
flooded in thought
the damask rose
the song of her tears . . .
drifts her away
spring showers . . .
& the flowers bloom
from her mind
fertile soil —
buried in her father’s grave
still water —
holds no name
birth of spring —
died with her father
the water nymph makes
her way home
the brook’s gurgle
drowning out the sound
of her voice
I chose to write haiku because I thought through the natural world, I could depict Ophelia’s own nature. Haiku, a literary convention Shakespeare often implicitly uses, relates nature to the human condition; I saw a way to communicate Ophelia’s story: her transition through passiveness to action through natural depictions. I have used unconventional grammar that my father has taught over the past decade. Using a Japanese methodology, I created these poems to act as an image both on paper and in the viewer’s mind so as to elevate the audience’s understanding of Ophelia’s character. Ophelia, creative in her delusions, also inspired me to add an imaginative element to my project, for many of her sing-songs resembled the format and style of haiku. Haiku can be interpreted in multiple ways, similar to the variation on the interpretations on Ophelia’s death. To create a cohesiveness between the poems and format, I added a more flowing layout of the poems and a more decorative font. By ending some of my poems with m dashes or ellipses and creating a concrete poem, one in which the punctuation matches the desired image, the image on paper reflects the one in the observer’s head. Structurally, I narrated Ophelia’s evolution chronologically to illustrate the change of influences in her life and to show where her influences come from. I, influenced by Hamlet’s to be or not to be soliloquy, purposefully decided to make the last word of the last haiku “voice,” the essence of Ophelia’s struggle, the definition of her outward depiction.
Having completed my assignment by searching synonyms for words online, having Kiki and Jackie read it, having my father proofread and help with format, and editing, I pledge on my honor, that this is a responsible effort, my own work, and unique to this assignment.
Poem one: “Not so my lord; I am too much in the sun.” (i.2.68)
Poem two: “Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,/ Whilst, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,/ Himself the primrose path of dalliance treafs/ And recks not hs own rede.” (i.3.51-54)
Poem three: “And in his grave rained many a tear” (iv.5.178)
Poem five: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance: pray you, love, remember: and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.” (iv.5.186-188)
Poem seven: “With his regard their currents turn awry/ And lose the name of action.” (iii.1.95-96)
Poem nine: “Fare you well my dove!” (iv.5.179)
Poem ten: “The fair Ophelia! Nymph in thy orisons/ Be all my sins remember’d.” (iii.1.97-98)
Poem eleven: A reference to Ophelia’s means of death