Haiku of science

Anatomy of a cell by BruceBlaus on Wikimedia Commons. Used under Creative Commons license. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blausen_0208_CellAnatomy.png

(BruceBlaus/Wikimedia Commons

Sitting around the dinner table the other night, my older son, Owen, who is in 4th grade, announced that he wanted to write a science poem. A haiku, to be specific. (He was feeling inspired, having just finished a short story for school, and been listening to me talk about science all the time.) Within a few minutes, he wrote the following, which I told him I’d post here on the blog for him.

cell
By Owen Ulrich

smallest living thing
living, growing, dividing
the base of all life

The next night, my younger son, Zach, the kindergartener, was also feeling scientifically literary. His teacher had read a book about salmon and their life cycle to the class, and he came home bursting to tell us everything he’d learned about the fish. I asked him if he also wanted to write a haiku, like his brother, about salmon.┬áTogether, we wrote this:

Jumping salmon at Murray's Cauld, Philiphaugh by Walter Baxter on geograph.org.uk. Used under Creative Commons license. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3191883

(Walter Baxter/geograph.org.uk)

salmon
by Zachary and Tom Ulrich

salt water salmon
swim upstream to lay their eggs
babies swim to sea

I asked Owen if he wanted to write one more so that I could post  three as a group. He told me that he wanted to write one about the immune system (remember, this kid is only 9). He then recited the following.

Antibody IgG2 by TimVickers on Wikimedia Commons. Public domain image. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Antibody_IgG2.png

(TimVickers/Wikimedia Commons)

immune system
by Owen Ulrich

the immune system
stopping all the parasites
defends your body

As Winnie the Pooh wisely said, “It’s the best way to write poetry, letting things come.” And I’m sure that as they get older, more science haiku will come out of these boys. So watch this space; I’ll post the results as they arrive.

Your poets, Zach (l) and Owen (r).

Your poets, Zach (l) and Owen (r), conducting a littoral excavation.

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