Friday, August 2, 2019

Carpe Diem #1716 Poppies

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the 2nd episode of our new CDHK month August 2019. This month we are "creating" a field of flowers, all prompts will be flowers that we can find in the fields around us. We will see a lot of beautiful flowers ... Today I have chosen "poppies" to work with.

Today I love to start with a "reprise" from an episode of one of my other weblogs, Basho Revisited. So a haiku by my master, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) and a little background on it.

shira geshi ya   shigure no hana no   saki tsu ran

white poppy
it must have bloomed
from a wintry shower

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

As you can see ... this haiku is in Kanshicho-style. Let's take a closer look at the Romanji text and count the characters (syllables).

shi-ra ge-shi ya (5 syllables or characters)
shi-gu-re no ha-na no (7 syllables or characters)
sa-ki tsu ran (4 syllables or characters)

And now let us look at the English translation. Is that also in Kanshicho?

white poppy (2 syllables)
it must have bloomed (5 syllables)
from a wintry shower (5 syllables)

The English haiku is also in Kanshicho. Kanshicho is just another way of writing haiku.  In our Western world we use our own way of translating the Japanese haiku and that's not always following the classical syllables-count. So maybe we can say that all Western haiku are in Kanshicho?
Well maybe, but as you and I know, in the Western world we have a lot of classical written haiku, sometimes convulsively counted to serve the rules of the classical syllables-count 5-7-5. I am not a fan of that classical style, counted verse, but I do like to write them sometimes. To me the classical way of writing haiku is very difficult. Maybe that's because English isn't my mother tongue.
By the way. The haiku written by Basho, the one in this episode, was published in a three-volume collection of haikai by Ochi Etsujin in 1717.

At Basho Revisited I try to create haiku inspired on the haiku by Basho trying to "touch" the same tone and sphere. So here is the haiku I created:

at sunrise
poppies still redder
sacrifice for God

© Chèvrefeuille

Awesome! Gorgeous haiku in Kanshicho-style. Hope you enjoyed the read and of course the whole episode.

To conclude this episode I have another haiku for you:

one summer day
poppies coloring the meadows -
raindrops start to fall

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... a nice one don't you think so too? This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until Auhust 9th at noon (CEST). Later today I will publish our new weekend meditation, so today ... two episodes to read. Have fun!


  1. The English translation of of Basho's poppy haiku has 3-4-5 syllables!

  2. I admire your lovely poppies haiku here, Kristjaan!

  3. The moment combustion
    begins for the field
    first poppy
    KSB, New Orleans, LA