Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Carpe Diem #1360 Along The Silk Road - Introduction

!! I have published a new Haiku Shuukan episode !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome to the first episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai February 2018 in which we will go on a journey along the ancient Silk Road while we are reading Hermann Hesse's "Siddhartha", a story about the quest for personal enlightenment following the you Brahman son Siddhartha.

To start this first episode of our journey along the ancient Silk Road I love to share a tanka about "silk". Silk was the reason of creating this Silk Road. Trading started on the Silk Road first with silk and later on with a lot of more products like pottery and spices.

Albizzia Julibrissin (Silk Tree)
silk tree blossoms
in a soothing summer rain
trembling in silence
so fragile,
in a summer breeze

© Chèvrefeuille

Of course the silk that was one of the highly things to trade along the Silk Road, wasn't the silk from the Silk tree, but the silk made from the cocoons of the silkworms.

Another one, a haiku this time, that in a way points us towards our theme for this month "Along The Silk Road":

kimono slipping
fingertips discover silk road
ecstatic sigh

© Chèvrefeuille

Our Logo for this month in which we will go on a journey "Along the Silk Road"

[...] Siddhartha, was not a source of joy for himself, he found no delight in himself. Walking the rosy paths of the fig tree garden, sitting in the bluish shade of the grove of contemplation, washing his limbs daily in the bath of repentance, sacrificing in the dim shade of the mango forest, his gestures of perfect decency, everyone's love and joy, he still lacked all joy in his heart. Dreams and restless thoughts came into his mind, flowing from the water of the river, sparkling from the stars of the night, melting from the beams of the sun, dreams came to him and a restlessness of the soul, fuming from the sacrifices, breathing forth from the verses of the Rig-Veda, being infused into him, drop by drop, from the teachings of the old Brahmans. [...] (Source: Siddhartha by Hermann Hess)

Siddhartha had no joy in his heart. He only had questions and doubts in his mind. His life didn't give him the inner peace he needed so much. One day he decided to leave his family home to find inner peace. His quest started ... as does our journey start too ... Let us go on our way. Pick up your things and belongings. Pack your suitcases or ... your backpack ...

[...] The gods seem to have possessed my soul and turned it inside out, and the roadside images seemed to invite me from every corner, so that it was impossible for me to stay idle at home. [...] (Source: The Small Road Into The Deep North by Matsuo Basho).

through the sands of time
I walk towards a caravanserai
to refresh my mind

© Chèvrefeuille (August 2013)

Along The Silk Road
The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce. As the Silk Road was not a single thoroughfare from east to west, the term 'Silk Routes’ has become increasingly favored by historians, though 'Silk Road’ is the more common and recognized name. The network was used regularly from 130 BCE, when the Han officially opened trade with the west, to 1453 CE, when the Ottoman Empire boycotted trade with the west and closed the routes.

"I can smell the pepper, the cinnamon and other spices already".

at the bazaar
the perfume of spices
overwhelms me
all those colorful people 
at the bazaar

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope this month will be like the above tanka ... a journey that overwhelms us and brings us the inspiration for our haiku, tanka or other kind of Japanese poetry.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 7th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Chang'an (Northern route), later on. For now .... have fun!

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