Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Carpe Diem #143, Zansetsu (remaining snow)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

'Till now it was every day a joy to prepare these episodes for Carpe Diem, but again a struggle to provide you with some background. I hope to write 'better' episodes, but I haven't always enough time to prepare the episodes. And ... during lack of time I am hopelessly behind with commenting on your posts a that, my dear friends, makes me a bit sad. You all take a daily effort to write and share your haiku with Carpe Diem and ... it's my goal to read all of your posts and comment them. So if you haven't received a comment on your post by me ... forgive me ...

Today we are sharing haiku on Zansetsu (remaining snow). Here in The Netherlands King Winter has come back after a week of Spring days. It's freaking cold (- 10 degrees Celsius) and sometimes we have showers of snow. So Zansetsu is right on this moment far away, because snow is covering the Lowlands.

Zansetsu (remaining snow)

“Zansetsu is an expression that is difficult to translate in English. In Japanese, it means “remaining snow” and it is the name of these surviving stretches of frozen and dirty snow that manage to outlast for a little while the arrival of spring; before they melt away, erased by the change of season. You certainly must have seen some while talking a walk in the countryside at the end of February or March, remaining melting snow at the turn of the path. Here today, we have no remaining snow, because it has snowed here. On his deathbed the haiku poet Bokusui wrote this last haiku, the last haiku written before dying is called 'Jisei':

Jisei nado, Zansetsu ni ka mo

 “ A parting word?
The melting snow is odorless”

I hope to have time soon to write a lecture about Jisei (death poems) written by our haiku ancestors. Let's go back to our prompt for today and try to write some nice new haiku on it.

the last spots of snow

along the highway
the remaining snow becomes dirty -
Spring is near

the brook is singing
last ice and snow evaporate
plum blossoms blooming

Credits: remaining snow (Zansetsu)

The feeling in these three haiku is the same ... finally King Winter leaves the country and gives room for Spring. I am longing for Spring as I see the Narcissus coming in bloom in the city parc around the corner. No more snow and frost I hope ... time to see Spring coming in.
A few spots of remaining snow melts in the soft warmth of the Spring sun ... at last ... Spring is there again.

I hope you enjoyed the read and I hope that it inspired you to write new haiku. I am looking forward to those wonderful gems you all are constantly sharing with Carpe Diem. Have fun.

This prompt will stay on 'till March 14th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode of Carpe Diem, Yuki no hate (end of snow), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).


  1. We appreciate you hosting this daily meme even when you don't really have the time to spare. Thanks again

  2. I'm just happy that you are able to post the prompts every day . They are so filled with information and your obvious love of haiku!

  3. Kristjaan I fully understand your struggle to teach us haiku. Your entries are wonderful. :-)

  4. Kristjaan, Stay warm and please do not feel bad because you cannot do even more than you are. I appreciate what you do for this little community you've created, and I'm sure many of the others are with me on this. You are appreciated.

  5. Dear Kristjaan,

    I think I speak for many of us when I say that we are grateful for this gathering place that you provide for us day after day. I know it's a lot of work (I host a couple of memes myself), and I know how easy it is to get behind. Please, just let our gratitude encourage you--and don't worry about not commenting on our haiku!


  6. It does takes lots of time to host a blog everyday ~ I find after being unable to get online for a week that I was taking lots of time blogging and needed to cut back but not to the extent I had to for a week !
    All three of your haiku are excellent ~ I think my favorite is the first ~ because of its simplicity and clarity ~ thanks, ^_^

  7. the brook is singing..te evaporating snow...wonderful haiku....the dirty snow and Spring...special moment...it is true...that thing about Spring..
    Thank you so much Kristjaan, your explanations are always so good, even when you do not have time.

  8. don't worry about not being able to visit everyone, we really appreciate the daily provision of prompts.

  9. aloha Kristjaan. i understand the time issue. it is a challenge. i appreciate the time and energy it takes to do what you are doing here daily.

    you are very generous in sharing the depth of your knowledge and insight—i appreciate this very much along with your patience.

    even tho i too struggle with the time issue i very much enjoy responding to your prompts. i am learning and i enjoy this greatly. thank you. aloha Rick.