Thursday, November 22, 2018

Carpe Diiem #1551 Dew Of The World (Revise That Haiku ... Hineri)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you remember our special feature "revise that haiku" here at our wonderful Kai. It's a "tricky" feature, because I challenge you to "revise" haiku by renoen classical and nonclassical haiku poets. So ... it's possible that I ask you to "revise" haiku written by one of the "big-five" (Basho, Buson, Chiyo-Ni, Issa and Shiki) and that's exactly what I am going to do this episode.

I will give you two haiku, one by Chiyo-Ni and one by Issa, and the background to "revise", but that's not all what I am asking of you this time (it's a hineri, with a "twist", episode). I also ask you to create a "fusion"-haiku with your two revisions and to create a Troiku with that "fusion"-haiku. A tough challenge I think, but I am sure that you all can do it, because you are all very gifted and talented haiku poets. Are you ready?

Let me give the three parts of this "revise that haiku ... hineri" challenge:

1. Revise the both haiku;
2. Create a "fusion"-haiku with the revised versions;
3. Compose a Troiku with your "fusion"-haiku.

cup-shaped flower (Drymocallis Convallaria)

Here are the haiku including the background. (Taken from: Haiku Volume 3, Summer-Autumn, by R.H. Blyth):

koborete wa tada no mizunari beni no tsuyu

the dew of the rouge flower,
when it is spilled
is simply water

© Chiyo-Ni

The reddish-yellow flower is cup-shaped and hold rain or dew in the same way as the camellia. There is great "virtue" in the expression tada no. If we translate it "only" water, we get the feeling of disillusionment without the insight into the nature of things, into what Carlyle says "the great Fact of existence". The poet, like the great man,

fly as he will, he cannot get out of the awful presence of this Reality. Though all men should forget its truth, and walk in a vain show, he cannot. (Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship)


hasu no ha ni kono yo no tsuyu wa magarikeri

on the lotus leaf,
the dew of this world
is distorted

© Issa

This expresses Issa's view of life, his world-view. The dew is of its nature perfect, but when it falls on the leaf of the lotus, it loses its spherical beauty and lies there twisted and deformed. This is the fundamental concept, or rather, intuition of Mahayana Buddhism, the original goodness of man, original, not in time, but in essence, in its nature.

Two wonderful haiku ... and I hope that your "revisions" will be as beautiful. I am looking forward to your responses on this tough challenge. If possible, please share not only your Troiku, but also your "fusion"- haiku and your revisions.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... good luck! Enjoy this tough challenge!


  1. Just missed the deadline - here's mine