By Kira Taylor @kirataylor15
Today Exeter library was filled with an array of activities, from the chalky adventures of ExploraTale in the children’s section to Uncle Jack’s Imaginarium – a colourful circus tent, pitched outside and bursting with stories.
On the second floor, by a window overlooking a towering fir tree and others amber with Autumn, haikus inspired by nature were blossoming. Children were invited to create haikus inspired by browning, crispy leaves and bright green, spiky sweet chestnut fruits.
Following the “Environment” theme of the exetreme imagination festival, poems were written about the shape and size of pine cones and leaves that were a secret entrances to a school for fairies, where they learnt to fly.
It was brilliant to see children creating a world of possibilities with two fallen leaves. In their hands, the leaves were not simply fallen organs of a tree, used for photosynthesis, they were the key to another world, one where anything was possible.
Sitting with the group, it was great fun to imagine the fairy school and think of a haiku to explain its wonders. It’s been a long time since I read fairy books, but there was still something enticing about the magical world. I don’t think I’ll ever be old enough to escape that.
It was almost a little shaming to see how quickly some of the children picked up on the beats of haikus. The structure of a haiku is three lines with five syllables on the first and third and seven on the second. It’s quite complicated, but we clapped out the syllables (and one of the children beat the adults to counting them at one stage).
The drop in was run by the MED Theatre. The company is based near Moretonhampstead and creates works inspired by Dartmoor’s history, mythology and nature. They worked amazingly with the children, finding poems to match their imaginative ideas. Nothing was too extreme.
I hope all of the children go home and write more haikus. The poems I heard were really good and I’d like to think they inspired the children.
The poems were recorded and will be on the MED Theatre’s website in early December: www.medtheatre.co.uk. Click on Projects > Current projects.