Using artistic license to communicate is not only more fun, but can also lead to in depth understanding of a concept. I recently came across a fascinating practice. One of my poet friends, Kemlyn, invited others to join her Haiku Me Haiku You activity. Haiku is a type of Japanese poetry. A practice in succinct expression, there are no wasted words. The most common haiku is a three line poem with a 5-7-5 syllable count. There are also some with a 3-5-3 count. With the Haiku Me Haiku You activity, each person responds to the previous haiku with their own haiku.

Here is a partial thread of haiku written by Kemlyn (from Singapore, living in USA), Lawin (from the Philippines) and myself (from the USA).

Linda -  only son
         left this earthly realm
         soul flies free

Kemlyn - memories
         smell taste touch longing
         to see you

Linda -  evidence
         words dreams kisses hugs
         you're still here

Kemlyn - death's a veil
         pull it back listen
         they are there

Lawin -  no exit
         just one more entrance
         hey let's go

Kemlyn:  take my hand
         brother let us run
         taste and see

Linda:   butterflies
         bird's call rainbows speak
         my soul hears

Lawin:   paradise
         is just a check point
         let's move on

Kemlyn:  no passport
         no visa money
         no problem

Linda:   border cross
         dissolves former shell
         life transcends

Kemlyn:  borderline
         cross fight with hopes of
         better lives

It was an intriguing exercise to create responses in haiku form. Using fewer words means there is no room for fluff, we had to get to the point. Engaging with people with such diverse backgrounds from me was a big ah-ha. Their comparison of an immigrant’s crossing to a person’s passing from this life certainly gave me more nuances of meaning within each of these two types of crossing over.

Musical Artistic License

Here is another type of artistic license. Victor Borge was a master at taking classical music pieces and using them in his comedy routines. Whereas he did not personally interact with these other composers, he borrowed from them in this routine.

A License in Visual Arts

M. C. Escher’s lithograph, Waterfall, is a wonderful example of artistic response to another artist’s work. Roger Penrose was inspired by M. C.’s earlier works to create his Penrose Triangle. M. C. then used the Penrose Triangle to create Waterfall! The following link shows visuals of these.

All of the arts are quite valuable to make ties between our subconscious thoughts to our conscious thoughts. Utilizing the arts can build bridges of understanding between people as well. Just think how much different our world would be if meetings and classes were preceded by an artistic activity such as this haiku exercise!

For further exploration in the arts, check out some of these posts! CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING looks at problem solving with the eyes of an artist and the ears of a musician. EMPOWERED LIVING gives benefits derived from a visual arts background. ARTS AND SOCIETY – I is an enlightening interview with Dr. Kevin Shorner-Johnson regarding his work in music and cultures around the world.

Published by Linda M. Wolfe

Midwestern mystic with varying amounts of mother, teacher, artist, seeker

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