Saturday, July 18, 2015

Carpe Diem Utabukuro #5 Origami frog

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Saturday again, and as you all know it's my weekend off, but as Always I do the special episodes myself. And today that's an all new episode of our special feature "Carpe Diem Utabukuro".

This feature is based on a haiku by Basho which he wrote when he was around 22 years of age, it's one of his earliest known haiku according to Jane Reichhold. The logo above is a bag with a wonderful Japanese woodblock-print and in the logo you can read the romaji translation of the haiku on which this new feature is based. I will give that haiku here again:

hana ni akanu
nageki ya kochi no

© Basho
And this is the translation by Jane Reichhold:

flower buds
sadly spring winds cannot open
a poem bag

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
The goal of CD's Utabukuro is not difficult, because I just ask you to share a haiku or tanka which you admire. That haiku or tanka can be one of a classical or non-classical haiku poet or one by yourself. You can choose what ever you like, but it has to be a haiku or tanka. Maybe the haiku brings you sweet (or sad) memories or you just like it. Explain why you have chosen that haiku or tanka to share here "in" CDHK's Utabukuro, poem bag, and ... that is the second task for this feature, write/compose an all new haiku inspired on the one you have chosen.

William J. Higginson (1938-2008)
This time I have chosen for a series of three haiku written by William J. Higginson (1938-2008) a well known American haiku poet, who once was the president of the Haiku Society of America. He has written wonderful haiku and these three in particular I like the most. I will first give the three haiku which I have chosen:
origami frog:
what old pond is he hoping
to find in the dusk?

I look up
from writing
to daylight.
writing again
the tea water
boiled dry

© William J. Higginson (1938-2008) 
Origami: Jumping Frog
That first haiku touched me, because it brought immediately that wellknown haiku by Basho, my master, in mind:
furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

an ancient pond
a frog jumps in
the splash of water

© Basho (1644-1694)
The haiku by Higginson is a nice reproduction of this classic haiku and it refers towards that classic haiku by Basho. I like the humor in it.
I think you can recall the haiku which I wrote as an example of the baransu haiku writing technique with the first line of this well known haiku by Basho:

the old pond
yesterday ... Irises bloomed
only a faint purple
© Chèvrefeuille

And there are more haiku written, inspired on this one, so here is another example:

little child
reaches for the water lilies
not seeing the frog

© Chèvrefeuille
Or what do you think of this one composed by Yozakura (the Unknown Haiku poet):

against his nature,
a frog in front of the fireplace -
the cry of a stork
© Yozakura

All wonderful haiku I think, and all in some way connected to that famous "frog pond"- haiku.
The other two haiku by Higginson touched me because of the imagery in it. I see myself as the poet who sees the new day rise and who let the tea water boiled dry. I really can imagine those scenes. As I am busy preparing the posts for CDHK than I am all with haiku and cdhk and time flies without thinking of time. So those two haiku can be easily be written for me ... as I am totally with haiku ...

time flies
another 24 hours gone
writing haiku

© Chèvrefeuille

And I love to share a "tea-haiku" which I once wrote back into 2012 for Poets United's Wonder Wednesday. (You can find that post HERE).

translucent tea cup
hides a deep secret
ghost of tea

geisha's secret life
gathering tea leaves
for her lover

© Chèvrefeuille
I hope you did like the read and I hope to see nice posts in response ... you don't need to use the haiku mentioned here by the way, you can choose a favorite haiku or tanka and share your feelings with us, the only thing needed is that you have to write an all new haiku or tanka inspired on the poems you have shared. Have fun.

This Utabukuro episode is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and it will remain open until next Saturday July 25th at noon (CET).


  1. What a post this is.
    Terrific. So much in it and so much to think about. It will keep my mind busy while I complete boring household tasks. Thank you.
    When I next get a chance to sit down, I will begin by trying to fold an origami frog myself. Then take the writing line from there. Such a treat, Kristjaan. Thank you yet again.

  2. A wonderful post. I enjoyed your selections - and your "little child" haiku brought a smile. :)