Haiku 4 U: West Valley’s 5,7,5 Poetry Competition


By Avi Vieira


‘twas poetry time
Teams gathered and shared their thoughts
Awesomeness ensued

There was creativity of the written word aplenty this night, as the youth of West Valley one•n•ten came up with the best haiku of the evening in a friendly team competition and presentation of their work. Unsure of what the night entailed, the youth were curious when our fearless leader and captain Mike Schneider introduced the evening with an introduction of what a haiku is – a poem written in 3 lines in a pattern of 5, 7, 5 syllables. The youth were challenged by staff and volunteers to break into random teams to identify a theme, then write the best 5, 7, 5 syllable pattern poem based on that theme with no other constraints than keeping the syllable pattern.

The teams each came up with their own unique themes, and were given 15 minutes to work together in coming up with a poem that would wow a panel of judges made up of volunteers and special guest and captain of Central one•n•ten, Dori Guest who had the difficult task of determining the most creative piece. With themes ranging from sunrises and sunsets, otters and pride, to Flappy Bird, the competition and creativity was at an all-time high, though a winning team was eventually agreed on, and prizes distributed. The evening was full of friendly camaraderie and rivalry while many of our youth discovered an unknown talent in poetry that simply hadn’t been uncovered till this night – which is one of the things that makes one•n•ten  so special for our youth; allow for a safe and fun environment that also encourages one to explore oneself and discover talents that one didn’t know even existed.