Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Carpe Diem #1458 short night (mijikayo)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Summer, in this case the astrological summer, is almost starting. Tomorrow, around 7:00 PM (CEST), summer is starting and that means that we will have the longest day of the year and (of course) the shortest night of the year too. In Japan you all know that Shinto is the most important religion, but (as I discovered yesterday as I was writing my weekly post on MLMM, a wonderful website on WP) in Shinto religion which you can compare with NeoPaganism they don't celebrate the Summer Solstice. All other seasons equinoxes are celebrated, but not the Summer Solstice. In the classical Saijiki (a collection of seasonwords or kigo) you will not find Summer Solstice, but you will find our kigo for today: short night (mijikayo). And I will try to share a few haiku on this classical kigo for summer written by haiku poets of all ages.

For example these by Yosa Buson (1716-1784), by the way Buson wrote a lot of haiku about the short night (or the long day). Here is a selection:

mijika yo ya ashiato asaki Yuigahama / mijikayo ya ashiato asaki yui no hama

A short night of summer:
Faint footprints
On the shore of Yuigahama.

© Yosa Buson

Yuigahama (woodblock print) (image found on Pinterest)

mijikayo no yami ni kakurete nio no umi

hidden in the darkness
of this short night -
Lake Biwako 

© Buson (Tr. Gabi Greve)

mijikayo ya asai ni kaki no hana o kumu

this short night -
from a shallow well I scoop
a persimmon flower 

© Buson (Tr. Gabi Greve)

mijikayo ya namiuchigiwa no sutekagari 

this short night -
an abandoned fire
at the shoreline 

© Buson (Tr. Gabi Greve)

mijikayo ya asase ni nokoru tsuki hitohira

this short night -
in the shallows remains
one sliver of the moon 

© Buson (Tr. Gabi Greve)

In the Western world the Summer Solstice is celebrated on several places. One of the renown places is Stonehenge (UK) were they celebrate the Summer Solstice every year again.

Stonehenge (Getty images)
Here is a tanka I wrote several years ago inspired on "the short night" or the Summer Solstice:

the longest day
spirits are rejoicing nature
Summer Solstice
spiritual energy stronger than ever
the longest day

© Chèvrefeuille

Or this haiku also from my archives:

at the seashore
wind of summer through my hair
the shortest night

© Chèvrefeuille

To conclude I have another nice selection of haiku on "the short night":

By Issa (1763-1827):

in the short night
the dew works fast -
blades of grass

By Basho (1644-1694):

washing my feet
I fall asleep for the short night
with my clothes on

And two haiku created by myself in response on those haiku by the classic masters:

in an eye-blink
I lay down asleep
and awake

finally summer
this shortest night of all
I love the most

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... enjoy your summer solstice celebration ... celebrate nature even on the longest day and in the shortest night of the year.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 27th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our next episode, evening lull (yuunagi), later on. Have fun!

For our friends on the Southern Hemisphere I have another nice winter-kigo: short day (tanjitsu)

1 comment:

  1. Your haiku of asleep and awake can be so true all too often. So full of layers.