Monday, September 2, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #55, O. Mabson Southard's "chanting, the pond's frogs ..."

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to rectify something. I have written the name of Southard wrong. The right way to write his name is O. Mabson Southard (instead of Mabson O. Southard), so my apologies for that. Today our first Special by Southard is on.

Maybe you know the famous haiku by Basho about the "old frog pond":

an old pond
frog jumps in -
the sound of water

I think that evry haiku poet has written at least one haiku about frogs or a frog pond. I myself have written (at least one) haiku about frogs:

frogs jump in -
the sound of rain far away
thunder and lightning

And I am sure thata I have written other 'frog'- haiku, but that's not the issue today. For this first Special of September I have chosen the following haiku by O. Mabson Southard:

Chanting, the pond's frogs ...
among the lilies' dark pads -
the twinkle of stars

Frogs have always been a favorite topic for haiku poets (as we have seen above) and Southard is not without his frog haiku. These samll creatures that are so often ignored in our busy day-to-day lives often fill the night with enchanting music. In this haiku, Southard is painting the image of the frogs' song at night, with the stars splashed across the heavens and reflecting from the pond. (Source: Millikin University)

As you all know the goal for the Specials is to write a haiku in the same tone, sense and spirit as the one given. This month we have another challenge in the Specials. Southard wrote all his haiku in the classical 5-7-5 structure, so the inspired haiku has to follow that 5-7-5 syllable structure. Not an easy task I think. For sure to me it will not be easy, because I write my haiku without that structure. Well ... I am looking forward to your inspired haiku. Have fun ...

This Special will stay open for your submissions 'till September 4th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode (hopefully) around 7.00 PM (CET). That will be, Amanogawa (Milky Way).


  1. Wonderful and fun to write 575 again.. feels like last year and haiku heights again... :-)

    Tomorrow I'm manning the bar at dVerse... would be fun to see some of you there.

    1. Hi Bjorn,
      What's this dVerse all about? I've heard of it a couple of times now...

  2. Loving the O. Mabson Southard theme! Shame about having to keep it 5-7-5 though, seems a bit strained sometimes forcing something to fit.

    1. I know what you mean. Sometimes haiku is called 'counted verse' because of the 5-7-5 structure. To me fitting haiku in that structure makes it somewhat artificial, but it's the classical way of writing haiku and maybe a good excercise to find the right words and fit them into the 5-7-5 structure.
      Thank you for your comment.

  3. 5-7-5 puts me into a humorous mood! For better or worse!

  4. I do like Southard's haiku...but Basho's is timeless isn;t it :)