“She was pregnant with his baby, and she still went to classes, but I’ve never seen anyone who looked as bleak,” DeJongh said. “I was pretty naive about the war then, so I wrote a poem about the soldiers.”
DeJongh submitted the poem for her college’s poetry class, and she has never forgotten it since.
“It’s one I kept in my brain,” she said. “It was more of a personal thing.”
Now, she’s submitting it to the Chapel Hill Public Library’s Community Haiku Project. A resident of Chapel Hill for more than 30 years, DeJongh visits the library to borrow books for her granddaughter every week.
The library’s second community haiku project celebrates National Poetry Month and National Library Week. Chapel Hill librarian and organizer Sarah Wagner said she suggested hosting the project to encourage community engagement.
“I was thinking it would be a fun way to get the community involved,” she said. “Haiku seems like a good way to keep it in a form that people can manage.”
Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry with a specified structure. There are three lines that have five, seven and five syllables, respectively. There can only be a total of seventeen syllables in the poem.
“It’s not too hard, and people can be creative,” Wagner said.