Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Carpe Diem Special #10, Mandarin Duck

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

In our first and second Carpe Diem month we had Basho and Issa for the Special prompts, this month we will look at haiku written by Buson (1716-1783), also one of the four greatest haiku masters.
Buson was a follower of Confucianism and was looking for beauty in his world. Buson was a big fan of Basho's way to write haiku and therefor longing back to Basho's haiku writing. In some of Buson's haiku the influence of Basho is clearly seen e.g.:

furuido ya ka ni tobu uo no oto kurashi

old well
a fish leaps -
dark sound

A haiku in which we can see Basho's well known haiku 'old pond':

furu ike ya kawazu tobi komu mizu no oto

old pond
frog jumps in
sound of water

Buson was, next to his haiku writing, also a painter and it is he who brought back the haiga. A haiga is a painting in which haiku and picture become one.

For example this one with a photo:

In his life he wrote around three thousand haiku. For this first Special about him I have chosen a winter haiku. This one is about Mandarin Ducks, a kigo for mid-winter. He wrote this one in 1769.

oshidoriya ikeni otonaki kashino ame

mandarin duck -
rain falls silently
from an oak

(tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Mandarin Ducks

It's a beautiful haiku as Buson only could write. It's almost a sin to try to write another one in the same tone and Spirit, but ... well I did it before with haiku written by Basho and Issa.

without sound
colored leaves dive into
the city park pond

Awesome! Another one, more close to the imagery of Buson's haiku:

swan couple -
rain breaking their reflection
without sound

Isn't it a wonderful image? The swans swimming over the water. Their reflection in the water. Than it starts to rain and their image is broken. Wow!

This prompt will stay on 'till December 7th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will publish our new prompt Charcoal (sumi) later on around 10.00 PM (CET). Have fun, be creative and share your haiku inspired on the one by Buson.


  1. LOL, Kristjann, I too feel a bit intimidated trying my hand and Buson style haiku. Yes, it feels sinful. Hahaha!

    I like your haiku and I love your confidence. You show how much fun it is to write haiku in every one of your posts.

    Keep up the fabulous work!

  2. I was later than usual posting, was busy yesterday evening. I must say that it's fun to use classic haiku as an inspiration for your own. Great idea. I like both you're haiku very much.

  3. Hi. Kristjaan, I had done some haiku on Buson's frog&pond haiku before and I've added them. Mandarin duck has been a puzzling prompt.

  4. I really learned a lot from this challenge...

    Thank you