Earthday Haiku Contest for Children and Young Persons 2011 Contest Results


Judge’s commentary (an'ya, representing HSA for Planet Pals) 

Overall First Choice


The overall winner for 2011 is Amy Claire Rose Smith (13) from Darlington, County Durham, UK for this wonderful haiku poem:



Earth Day dusk --

falling all around me

blackbird song



7-9 years old

First Choice:


the water is smooth

a bird dips down, and away

ripples on the water


Katy Smith

Fourth Grade,

Barrington, IL USA, Teacher: Michelle Pezzuto



This haiku by Katy Smith still adheres to the 5,7,5 format we were originally taught in our various school systems (which is fine) although nowadays many haiku poets are using just a short, long, short count since the Japanese sound syllables differ in length from English syllables. 


Having said this, Katy's haiku moment is as smoothly written as her first line "the water is smooth" which opens the moment with a "wide setting", and then in line two she zeros or zooms in on a bird dipping down, then she takes that bird away and all that is left in line three, are "ripples on the water." 


A very good use of "showing" us this moment rather than "telling" us what to think about it. Well done!



Second Choice:


spring meadow

a single honey bee

sips nectar


Philip Painting,  (age 9)

The Paideia School, Atlanta, GA, USA  Teacher: Judy Cloues



In this haiku by Philip, we are visually transported to the wide setting of a "spring meadow" full of flowers, and yet in line two we are given "a single bee"perhaps going from flower to flower throughout the meadow to "sip nectar." 


Nicely written with fine juxtaposition and continuity throughout all three lines. 


Thanks to this author for sharing his moment.



Third Choice


waterfalls falling

right over the mountainside

straight into a lake


Ben, 4th Grade

Teacher: Liana Williams, Pacific Palisades, CA USA



Here we have a very good visual haiku by Ben of literally what a mountainside waterfall does, it falls from the top, right over the mountainside, and straight into the lake. If we concentrate on writing exactly what we see in nature, the haiku will almost always come out good.