Sunday, November 11, 2012

Carpe Diem Special #6, Issa - the year's first sky

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you all may know the Carpe Diem Specials for November are haiku written by Kobayashi Issa (1763-1823). He's known for his sad life (he lost several children at young age) and his haiku are wonderfully written like children's ideas. His haiku are all easy to understand, because of this simpleness. His 'nom de plum' was Issa, which means 'cup of tea'. So for this first Special of November I have chosen a haiku with tea in it.

Kobayashi Issa (1763-1823)

During his life time Issa wrote over 20.000 haiku and this is one the 20.000 haiku:

hatsu-zora no moyô ni tatsu ya cha no keburi
rising into
the year's first sky...
tea smoke 

The year in which he wrote this haiku isn't known. As we look closer to this haiku we can see (and read) that he wrote this haiku in the classic season New Year (so somewhere between January 1st and January 15th).
New Year's day was a great day in classic Japan and was also called 'Great Day'. Why is this a haiku written in New Year?  I think that's clear ' the year's first sky ...' shows us that.

Serving Tea
Our goal for these Carpe Diem Specials is to write a haiku inspired on the one I gave of the classical haiku-poet. I do understand that this isn't always easy, but ... inspiration is always there I think. In these Specials of November I hope to give you all more information about Issa, one of the four greatest haiku-masters (like Basho, Buson and Shiki).

For my own contributions to these November Specials I have created a new weblog on Issa I will try to write a new haiku (or a few) inspired on the ones by Issa and in his Spirit.
For this first November Special I have written the next haiku:

tea smoke wisps
on New Year's day
just like last year

Well I hope you're inspired. Have fun, be inspired and share your creativity with Carpe Diem.

This Special will stay on 'till November 12th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will publish our new prompt 'fountain' today around 10.00 PM (CET).


  1. Not sure that I did it right ~ but wrote one if the form of Issa not 5-7-5 ~ Your blog and haiku are always wonderfully done ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

  2. Every time I visit your blog, I am happy to read your awesome haiku and to learn more about the art form....

  3. I almost get the feeling of a tea ceremony, with the way use the word wisps. Great haiiku

  4. Must look at the vieolet post again - it didn't work.