Monday, January 11, 2016

Carpe Diem #895 Harusamu (cold spring)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month we will explore classical and modern kigo (seasonwords), but first this:

As you all know I hope to start a new Renga Party soon, you can sign in to participate until January 12th 10.00 pm (CET). Later this week I hope to start with this 2nd Carpe Diem Renga Party.
Than as you have seen in one of the earlier posts the voting for the kukai "Winter" has started. I have already had several emails with points ... so don't forget to vote.
Yesterday I published a call for submissions for our second issue of Souchou, Carpe Diem's own e-zine, you can (if you like to be published in this second issue of Souchou) email your contributions to our special email-address: before March 1st 10.00 PM (CET).

Okay ... back to our episode of today. Today I have another nice classical kigo for you, Harusamu (cold spring). And this is what I found about this classical kigo for (late) winter.

Harusamu (cold spring) points towards the month February (in Japanese called: Nigatsu). Nigatsu means “footsteps of Spring”. It’s a very nice classical kigo. In classical Japan it is believed that spring starts on about February 4th, which is said to be the first day of spring. Even if the Japanese hear only the sound of the word haru (spring), they become happy and have great expectations for the coming days, though the temperature of this month is still low and it remains the coldness of winter.
The Japanese feel excited to hear the word harusamu (cold spring), even if it is cold. But the word yokan (the lingering cold of early spring) emphasizes the coldness of winter which is lingering on. As the snow begins to melt and the ice is getting thinner and thinner, the workings of animals and plants become active.

Credits: Haiku by Origa (Olga Hooper) and haiga by Nakamura Sakuo

People feel like to be released from the closed winter life, which makes them open the windows and go out.
Everyone feels the revival of life and is filled with joy, looking the scenes in which nekoyanagi (pussy willow), crocuses, katakuri (flower of dogtooth), yukiwarisou (mealy primrose), fuki-no-tou (butterbur sprout) are glittering in the sun of early spring. It is not too much to say that people have been admiring ume-no-hana (ume flower) the best since the old days. Being not only noble and beautiful but also sweet-scented, ume-no-hana, which is the first to bloom in spring, has been composed in many poems as the symbol of early spring. By seeing ume flowers, perhaps the Japanese people feel the footsteps of spring close to them.

A beautiful haiga I would say above. Here is a haiku by Issa which fits this classical kigo very well:

manroku no haru to nari keri kado no yuki

some “proper spring”
this is!
snow at the gate

© Issa (1822)

And I found a nice haiku written by Gabi Greve in which we can see this kigo also in a very nice context ... with the plum blossom. As you all maybe know the Plum blooms in late winter so this haiku fits the theme of this episode in an excellent way.

ume ichi rin ichi rin dake ja haru samushi

one plum blossom
just one blossom -
spring is still cold

© Gabi Greve

Tulip(s) in the snow

Harusamu (cold spring) ... it's that thin line between winter and spring, because in late winter it can be very cold, but it can also be very cold in early spring as is this kigo saying. I have looked into my archives to find haiku which are fitting this kigo, harusamu (cold spring) and I found a few nice haiku published once on my own personal weblog and here on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. So it is possible that you have read these haiku earlier.

first snow of the year
covers fragile blossoms
tears in my eyes

such a sad event
young cherry blossoms frozen
in a cold spring night

Tulips in the snow
coloring a white blanket -
returning cold

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you did like this episode. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 14th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, a new Tokubetsudesu episode, later on. I hope I will have the time, because I am in the nightshift the upcoming nights.

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