Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #17, Shiki's 'cold winter blast'

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I wonder ... how long Carpe Diem will go on? I hope a life long, but that's not only up to me. You my dear friends are the incentives ... as long as you all post your haiku here Carpe Diem will stay on. I am so glad to see that we have gotten new contributors ... awesome!

Yesterday we had prompt #97, so another milestone is coming with a few days ... Carpe Diem prompt #100 ... I hadn't thought that Carpe Diem would come to such a milestone, but it has ... that prompt will be 'Angels', a lovely prompt I think, but that's about a few days. Let's go back to our Special prompt for today another haiku written by Masaoka Shiki, our haiku master for this month.

Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)

A little history about the Special by Shiki I love to share here with you all.

When he was 24, he had a 3 day walk around Musashino (fields around present Warabi-shi and Kumagawa-shi in Saitama Prefecture where there used to be lots of rice paddy fields and forests.) at the end of the year 1891, when he realized that word play would not enough to express the truth and that we should write things as they are. He had an open-eye to haiku for the first time. He composed:

samui fuyubura suto sugegasano watashino kubini katto kadoo 

cold winter blast
a cord of a sedge hat
cut into my neck 

It was his first haiku in the meaning of haiku ... as his role model, Matsuo Basho, did when he traveled through the Deep North of the Southern Island of Japan. 

Credits: Modern Musashino

In nowadays Japan, Musashino is a great city. If Shiki only could see what has happened to this city he went to and wrote the haiku for today.

Well ... the goal of the Carpe Diem Special is to write a new haiku inspired on the one given and if possible in the same tone and Spirit as the haiku master. So let me give it a try ...

covered with snow
after a cold winter blast
rice paddy fields

rice paddy fields
left bare after the harvest
room for the cold wind

a cold winter blast -
with my bare frozen hands 
keeping my hat down

Hm ... not bad I think, how modest, but well ... sometimes you have to give yourself a tap on the shoulder (smiles).

This Special prompt will stay on 'til January 18th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new prompt for Carpe Diem later on today around (hopefully) 10.00 PM (CET). That will be 'circus' .


  1. Wonderful haiku you did ~ could feel the cold of the air and trying to keep your hat down ~ well done ~

    I will not make this one ~ but will make the next haiku ~ You are doing a wonderful job with this and provide such wonderful information.

    Carol and ArtMuse Dog (A Creative Harbor)

  2. I am really enjoying this daily inspiration and feel that I am learning so much about haiku as I attempt each challenge and then read the other wonderful haiku linked in here! I would like to thank you, Kristjaan, for hosting and working so hard to make this an interesting site! This must be a great deal of work for you. Thank you again!!

  3. I love rice paddies. We should have that as a prompt if it hasn't been done.
    Lovely 'ku, Kristjaan.

  4. As I am in the hot lands at the moment, this prompt became an interesting challenge! Love the image of the wintry rice paddy fields!

  5. I truly enjoy this daily challenge, and reading all other entries. I think your haiku today are very good especially the one trying to hold your hat.

  6. I think those were beautiful haiku Kristjaan...moments of peace with a sudden cold wake up. They seemed to create space and time.

  7. As always, an excellent prompt and wonderful contributions by yourself Kristjaan. Thank you :)
    Your third took me back to winter days surfing in the UK and hence my set today.

  8. Thanks for keeping this site alive for friends of haiku. We are grateful!

  9. Thanks for being there for the friends of haiku for another year

  10. The 3rd one is my favorite! :)