Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Welcome at the first episode of April 2017 here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month I love to take you with me back to the classical haiku by exploring classical kigo (seasonwords) for spring. As you maybe know in the classical haiku there was always a kigo, a word that points to the season in which the haiku was written or took place. It was common to use those kigo to help the reader to understand in which time of year the haiku "played".
During the years there came more and more kigo and gatherings of kigo, the so called Saijiki. The kigo in this month I have extracted from the Kiyose, a collection of seasonwords in Japan.
I think you have already noticed, but I changed the background of our Kai. In the background you can see the image (cherry blossom) I used to create our logo for this month with, but you all know that I don't use created logo, but that I use the logo above, this will stay as long as possible. Only in October, as we are celebrating our anniversary, I will use a created logo, because a festive month needs that in my opinion.
cherry blossom opens
without disturbing the pigeons
building their nest
cherry blossoms bloom -
Okay ... back to our episode of today. Today our kigo is "first day of spring" (haruno saisho no hi) and that day (of course) is already history. This year spring started on March 20th (on the Northern Hemisphere) were I live. So here in The Netherlands we are already in the mood for spring.
As I look around me than I see that spring really is here. I see young leaves, narcissus, tulips, cherry blossoms and more. Yes spring has started and I love it.
To make this kigo more alive for you I have a few haiku created by Basho (translated by David Landis Barnhill):
on the scales
Kyoto and Edo balanced
in this spring of a thousand years
a spring night:
and with the dawn on the cherries,
it has ended
© Matsuo Basho
Not really haiku about the first day of spring, but I couldn't find a good example of a haiku with this kigo at all. So maybe that's our challenge ... create a haiku in which the first day of spring is present or at least something that points towards that kigo.
That's by the way not the only challenge this month, because I hope to read haiku (or tanka) following the classical rules (syllables-count, kigo, kireji, spiritual meaning, no personification and interchangeability of the first and third line) more on these classical rules you can find above in the menu, Carpe Diem Lecture 1.
the last snow melts -
snowdrops open their buds
first day of spring
This was my first attempt, but it didn't follow the syllables count, so I tried it again:
the last snow is melting
snowdrops open in silence
the first spring day is here
As I re-read this haiku than the syllables count is correct, there is a kigo in it, a kireji is in it too, but not visible it's after the first line (if you read it out loud than you can hear a silence there. Can I interchange the first and third line without losing the scene? Yes I can. Is there a spiritual meaning? I don't know, but there is of course the meaning of snowdrops (strength, firm and strongly rooted in the earth) Well ... it was a challenge that's for sure and now it is up to you.