Friday, September 26, 2014

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #7, Koyu-Ni's "Tranquil"

Credits: logo image
Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A new episode of Sparkling Stars (with a new logo) in which I will introduce a classical haiku-poetess named Koyu-Ni, she was (as e.g. Chiyo-Ni) a Buddhistic nun (as can be seen at her name "ni" stands for "female monk".) There aren't many haiku known by her. I ran into this one as I was preparing this episode which I started last Sunday. It's a joy to prepare every episode of Carpe Diem, but it takes time. (smiles)

hana chirite shizuka ni narinu hito-gokoro

the blossoms have fallen:
our minds are now

© Koyu-Ni (Tr. R.H. Blyth)

[...] Koyu-Ni died in 1782, her family name was Matsumato. She is on of the more prominent woman poets of the Edo period. She learned haiku from Songi the First. [...]

I love to share a translation of my own for this haiku:

tranquility -
finally I have found peace,
blossoms have fallen

© Koyu-Ni (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Sakura blooming © Chèvrefeuille
I think that in this translation the peace of mind is stronger present. With every gust of wind I am anxious that the fragile Cherry blossoms will be scattered and torn apart, but as all blossoms have fallen than my heart and mind are at peace, there is no anxiety anymore and that gives me that feeling of tranquility.

Not that this tranquility is superior to the excitement of our hearts while the Cherry blossoms were blooming. It is neither better nor worse. It is simply inevitable, like the blooming, like the falling of the Cherry blossoms themselves.
There is a Waka of Narihira (825-880), which may well have been the original of this haiku:

were there
no cherry blossoms
in this world
our minds might know
serenity in spring

© Narihira

A humorous verse, by Basho (1644-1694), of the same import, is the following:

hana ni nenu kore mo tagui ka nezumi no su

is it not like a mouse's nest, -
this being unable to sleep
for the flowers?

© Basho (Tr. R.H. Blyth)

That is to say, the poet is unable to sleep at night because of the excitement of the Cherry blossoms, and compares his heart to the nest of the mice who are squeaking and scuffling all night long.

One more, by Shado (died 1737), who was a student under Basho:

hana chitte take miru noki no yasusa kana

the flowers having fallen,
looking at the bamboos,
it is restful under the eaves

© Shado

All wonderful haiku I think, tributes to the beauty of the Cherry blossoms, and the anxiety to see them fall and be scattered.
Life and dead are living together just on a thin line of silk, so close to one another, but that's the circle of life, the beauty of Mother Nature. This is what haiku is ... writing about nature and mankind as being part of it's beauty.
Sakura blooming © Chèvrefeuille
The goal of this Sparkling Stars episode is to write a classical haiku, following the classical rules of haiku, about the circle of life of the fragile Cherry blossoms (or any other fragile blossom). So good luck, have fun, be inspired and share your haiku, following the classical rules (as you can read in CD's Lecture 1) with us all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. The place to be if you like composing haiku and sharing them with the world.

This episode of Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars will be open for your submissions Saturday September 27th at noon (CET) and will remain open until October 4th at noon (CET). For now ... have fun!

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful and inspiring.. I can so relate to the tranquility after bloom.. and it works so much as a metaphor for life itself.. I got a little carried away on this one.. but I liked it a lot.