Sunday, April 22, 2018

Carpe Diem Crossroads #7 this autumn sky (Sōgi)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... it wasn't really what I wanted to do today, but I have a third post for you today. It is time again for a new episode of our "crossroads" feature, the feature in which I challenge you to create a so called "fusion-haiku" based on two given haiku. Today I have two haiku for you by a not so renown classical haiku poet Sōgi.

Sōgi (1421–1502), was a Japanese poet. He came from a humble family from the province of Kii or Ōmi, and died in Hakone on September 1, 1502. Sōgi was a Zen monk from the Shokokuji temple in Kyoto and he studied poetry, both waka and renga. In his 30's he became a professional renga poet.

During his travels to almost every corner of Japan, he was welcomed by the most powerful political, military and literary figures of his day. He attracted more disciples than any other poet of his generation. After traveling throughout Japan, he returned to Kyoto where he commanded great respect.


He is best-remembered for his renga, wherein two or more poets collaborate to create a poem, by writing alternate stanzas. In Sōgi's day, such renga were typically 100 verses in length. Arising from the court tradition of waka, renga was cultivated by the warrior class as well as by courtiers, and some of the best renga poets, such as Sōgi, were commoners.

Sōgi is considered the greatest master of renga, his two most famous works being "Three Poets at Minase" (Minase sangin hyakuin, 1488) and "Three Poets at Yuyama" (Yuyama sangin hyakuin, 1491).[3] This outstanding poet left more than 90 works (anthologies, diaries, poetic criticisms and manuals, among others). Before his death, he wrote "Sōgi Alone", which mostly includes his memoirs.

Here are the two haiku to create your "fusion-haiku" with:

ah, for coolness,
it rivals the water's depth -
this autumn sky

© Sōgi

And this one, in a translation by myself:

abandoned house
the garden taken over -
butterfly home

© Sōgi (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Woodblock print Orchid and Butterflies (image found on Pinterest)
And here is my "fusion-haiku":

in the autumn sky
vague silhouette of a butterfly

first raindrops fall

© Chèvrefeuille

Have fun!

This episode of "crossroads" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until April 29th at noon (CEST). See you ....!

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