Saturday, December 15, 2012

Carpe Diem #71, Cold Crow (kangarasu)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day on Carpe Diem. Today our prompt is 'Cold Raven (kangarasu)' and I think that this very common bird (all over the world) can be a source for inspiration.

Credits: Crow, Raven

In the Japanese saijiki, the word crow (karasu) without further modification is not included, since it is with us noisily all year round.
In Western Japan, they come mostly in Autumn to feast on the kaki, the persimmons. They also swoop down in spring, when the yamataroo, a kind of large caterpillar , are descending in the millions to feed on the chestnut leaves, thus themselves becoming a delicious food for the crows. They have an elaborate network in the northern province of Okayama and know exactly where to go on the days people put out the trash in the cities (still mostly open on the curbs...) and when the local delicacies in the fields and woods are ripe.
In the big cities, they are quite a nuisance these days, picking at the trash on the curbs and spilling it all over the place while they eat. After them come the stray cats to feed some more, then the rats to finish off the rest.

Credits: Magpie, Pied Crow

After the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the crow was associated with ill-fate or bad-fate or bad luck, foreboding future... which may keep "crow" from not being kigo in Japan.
Ravens, rooks, crows, and the like have quite a mythology associated with them in many cultures, some positive, some negative, but almost always powerful.

There are several examples of haiku with Crow as theme e.g.:

on dead branches
crows remain perched
at Autumn's end

(c) Basho (1644-1694)

Or this one written by Issa (1716-1783):

winter wind -
he can't find his roost
the evening crow

And one by Buson:

winter withering -
crows are black
herons white

And I am sure there are a lot of other haiku poets who have written haiku on Crows or Ravens.

Well ... here it goes ... my own take on this 'Cold Crow':

black spots on white
looking like the Dutch cows -
cold crow in the snow

making loud noise
cold crows between bare branches -
winter has come

Credits: Crows in the Snow

This prompt will stay on 'till December 17th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new prompt (a reprise prompt) Mandarin Ducks (oshidori) later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Have fun, be inspired and creative and share your haiku with Carpe Diem's daily haiku meme.


  1. Your crow haiku are little works of art. I can't decide which one I like best. Well done!

    And thanks for the info on crowds. Crows, persimmons, caterpillars, omens, all lend themselves to some good haiku.

  2. I decided to have a little fun with this one. We have an expression " eating crow " which means to be humiliated when proven wrong-especially when you have argued that you were correct. I hope you enjoy it. Thank-you again for hosting this wonderful collection on poets * yourself included *

  3. I think your haiku caught the mood that the crow brings. Making it 'cold crow' adds to that image. I can see the idea of black and white. Thanks a lot again for this page!

  4. I love this prompt and your wonderful haiku. Your info provided. Great help and inspiration thank you.

  5. Wonderful haiku on the cold crow. I especially enjoyed the first one comparing crows in the snow to Dutch cows. Lovely.

  6. Very interesting information about crows and beautiful examples of haiku, thanks.
    The image of the crows in the snow is great and your two haiku are excellent, could have be written by one of the old masters.
    I love the comparison between Dutch cows and the crows in the snow.

  7. i'll try to come up with something^^ thanks for the inspiration ^^

  8. Took me a bit to get the brain waves like this crows. (Patricia..."eating crow" is a saying that is familiar from growing up in the Midwest USA ... have occasionally "tasted" it myself ☺

  9. I saw that my link was incorrect and linked back to your site instead. I have added a correct link instead.

  10. Like the last one ~ great use of words ~ thanks again for 'hosting' and great info and photos

    (A Creative Harbor) aka artmusedog and Carol ^_^

  11. A cow is simply a crow without the "r"!

  12. My computer didn't show that I had sent the crow post/nor was it soon as I sent it, it appeared...sorry for any confusion.

  13. Dutch cows ... This made me smile!!

  14. Better late than never with my cold crow haiku (I hope).
    I love both your haiku for Cold Crow Kristjaan... send shivers down my spine.