Inspired by the magenta sunrise that colored the waters surrounding the early morning ferry she has seen so frequently in her life, senior Friday Harbor High School student Siri Lindstrum wrote the winning haiku that will be on the cover of the summer Seattle/Anacortes/San Juan ferry schedule.
“I’ve been on the ferry so many times it’s like I can just close my eyes and … see every sunset every sunrise every sparkle on the water that I have ever seen,” Lindstrum said. She added that her poem did not take long to write.
Warm pink rays of light
Reflects on shimmering sea
We watch the sunrise
A haiku is a popular Japanese form of poetry usually consisting only of three lines. The first line is a five syllable line, the second, seven syllables and the third line returns to five syllables. The genre gained traction in the 1600s, according to the Poetry Foundation website, with the notoriety of the son of a samurai, Matsuo Basho, who mastered the art.
“Haiku is just so simple and organized. Poetry, in general, is just very calming and aesthetically pleasing to me,” Lindstrum explained, and this soon to be published haiku is not the first poem she has written. Rupi Kaur, author of “Milk and Honey, and Sun and Her Flowers” is one of Linsdstrum’s favorite poets. Her passion for poetry made creating the 17 syllable refrain easier, Lindstrum added.
“It didn’t take that long. … It was easy for me to go back to all the ferry experiences I’ve ever had. … What I would want to see on the cover of the ferry schedule and the five, seven five came together,” she said.
Last year the winning ferry haiku was by Friday Harbor school librarian Lisa Salsbury. Salsbury promoted the contest throughout the school with the help of English teacher, which was how Lindstrum learned of the event. Salsbury also noted the senior love of poetry and said Lindstrum had created a poetry website in January as part of a school project. Her poem was one of 200 entered.
Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna assisted the ferry staff in selecting three finalists. Those finalists were posted on Twitter. The haiku that received the most likes won.
Lindstrum’s poem was been published in the Washington State Ferry Department of Transportation’s newsletter and will be on the summer ferry schedule running from June-September. She may also have the opportunity to meet Castro Luna if the Poet Laureate comes to Friday Harbor, however, a date has yet to be set.
In the meantime, Linstrum is thrilled with the achievement.
“I was so, so surprised. This is just all super surreal, such a strange exciting experience that I never thought I would happen,” she said of winning the contest.