Saturday, February 14, 2015

Carpe Diem #668, dreams

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

How do you like our journey through the world of Impressionism until now? For me its really an adventure, because I am not that familiar with Impressionism so to me its an eye-opener too. All those wonderful paintings I have already seen look like dreams ... and that brings me to our prompt for today dreams.
Once Martin Luther King said "I have a dream" and with him I can say that too. Once I had a dream to write a novel and God grace I have fulfilled that dream in 2007. A second novel followed. Another dream I had was "to become a wellknown haiku-poet" and that dream is still growing. With my first English haiku, which I wrote in 2005, that dream started to become true ... and now ... ten years later I have reached that dream ... here I am, the host of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai (CDHK), a weblog about haiku where I can share my knowledge and my haiku with the world ... and you my dear Haijin ... are the incentives to make CDHK even a better place to be. Without your participation I could not make CDHK and last but not least ... CDHK brought me in contact with wellknown haiku poets all over the world and with a great and loving haiku family ... you my dear Haijin. Thank you, Arigato, all for helping me to make CDHK the place to be if you like to write and share haiku. And what are your dreams? Do you have dreams?
Well ... back to our prompt of today, dreams. I have found a wonderful post-impressionism painting by Henri Rousseau, The Dream. The Dream (French: Le Rêve, occasionally also known as Le Songe or Rêve exotique) is a large oil-on-canvas painting created by Henri Rousseau in 1910, one of more than 25 Rousseau paintings with a jungle theme. His last completed work, it was first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants from 18 March to 1 May 1910, a few months before his death on 2 September 1910. Rousseau's earlier works had received a negative reception, but poet and critic Guillaume Apollinaire remarked on its debut: "The picture radiates beauty, that is indisputable. I believe nobody will laugh this year."
The Dream is the largest of the jungle paintings. It features an almost surreal portrait of Yadwigha (Jadwiga), Rousseau's Polish mistress from his youth, lying naked on a divan to the left of the painting, gazing over a landscape of lush jungle foliage, including lotus flowers, and animals including birds, monkeys, an elephant, a lion and lioness, and a snake. The stylised forms of the jungle plants are based on Rousseau's observations at the Paris Museum of Natural History and its Jardin des Plantes. The nude's left arm reaches towards the lions and a black snake charmer who faces the viewer playing his flute, barely visible in the gloom of the jungle under the dim light of the full moon. A pink-bellied snake slithers through the undergrowth, its sinuous form reflecting the curves of the woman's hips and leg.

Credits: The Dream post-impressionism painting by Henri Rousseau
Suspecting that some viewers did not understand the painting, Rousseau wrote a poem to accompany it, Inscription pour La Rêve:
Yadwigha in a beautiful dream
Having fallen gently to sleep
Heard the sounds of a reed instrument
Played by a well-intentioned [snake] charmer.
As the moon reflected
On the rivers [or flowers], the verdant trees,
The wild snakes lend an ear
To the joyous tunes of the instrument.

One possible interpretation of the painting, offered by Rousseau in a letter to art critic André Dupont, is that it depicts a woman reclining on a couch in Paris, dreaming she is listening to a flute player in the jungle.

To make this episode complete I love to share a nice piece of Shakuhachi (Japanese Bamboo flute) music ... maybe this is a kind of music which the female on the painting did hear.

As you know we had a special feature at CDHK titled "Distillation" in which I gave a "long poem" to distil a haiku from. That's maybe a possibility for you to use for this episode. I first thought to do that myself, but I came up with another (beautiful) haiku.

This is the first version:

while the world sleeps
the birds of the night are singing their song
to honor the moon

(c) Chèvrefeuille

And I have tried to step in the footsteps of Jane and have tried to use her idea of making this haiku stronger by using less words, this is the second version.

world asleep
birds sing their song
moonlight serenade

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this episode and that it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 17th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, scream, later on. For now .... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.

1 comment:

  1. This is a lovely post. Arigato to you for this little dream haven filled with lovely paintings and music. Just love Rousseau. If I have time I will write another one.