Friday, July 5, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #45, Jane Reichhold's "glass with candlelight"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First ... I have to apologize that I wasn't on time with posting our first Special haiku of July. Yesterday I had a very busy day, so I hadn't time to prepare this first Special. During lack of time this will not be a long episode, but I think the haiku by Jane Reichhold don't need that.

Jane Reichhold

As you all know our Special episodes are all haiku written by Jane Reichhold, one of the most known haiku poetesses of our time. I have chosen (I hope) five wonderful haiku written by her. As you maybe know the classical Japanese year had five seasons; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, and the fifth season was New Year. For this Specials by Jane Reichhold I have chosen haiku from each season.
Our first inspirational haiku by Jane Reichhold is a nice one of the New Year season.

the glass with candlelight

It's a wonderful haiku and as you can see not 5-7-5 syllables. It's in the way of the Chinese poem so the syllables count isn't correct, but ... as you all know I write in Kanshicho-style, this is in the way of the Chinese poem, and this style is used by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) several years. I know that a lot of haiku poets of this time are struggling with their haiku as a counted verse. In Western languages this 5-7-5 structure isn't used, because it can't be used. Haiku in Japanes Kanji (characters) are counted by the Kanji and not the syllables. So if we translate Japanese haiku to another language, we try to translate them with 5-7-5 syllables. Translating haiku isn't easy because of the Western languages which use words and syllables and not Kanji. Sometimes, because the translator of the Western haiku poet, will use the 5-7-5 rule, lines are broken on wrong places and the structure of the haiku falls apart.
Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, enjoy writing haiku, write them right from the heart and please ... don't make it a 'counted verse', a haiku must flow like a river.

photo by Chèvrefeuille

Jane Reichhold our haiku poetess for this month also doesn't use the 5-7-5 sometimes, as you can see e.g. in her above haiku. It's not a sin to let go the 5-7-5 rule, but of course it's all up to you my dear friends. If you will use the 5-7-5 you may, but if you try to write haiku in a different way, not following the 5-7-5 count, don't be ashamed ... feel free ... write from your heart.
Basho once said: "learn the rules and forget them immediately, write from your heart with an open eye for the world around you". 

OK ... back to this wonderful haiku by Jane Reichhold. The goal of the CD Specials is to be inspired by a haiku of a haiku-poet and try to write a new haiku in the same sense and tone as the one by the Special haiku-poet. My haiku inspired on the one by Jane Reichhold (by the way: if you would like to know more about Jane Reichhold then visit her website at:

shimmering pebble
between colorful leaves -
a little treasure

This prompt will stay on 'til July 6th 11.59 AM and I will post our next episode later on today around 8.00 PM (CET) (I hope to be on time). That will be Curiosity.  The Linking Widget is now open for submissions. Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.


  1. I agree with you totally and wholeheartedly about syllable count. I amazed at the people who write to someone who wrote a beautiful haiku to lecture them to smash it up into 5-7-5.
    Is the 2nd haiku yours? It is beautiful.

    1. Yes that second haiku is mine. I am glad that you like it.

  2. Thank you for the shimmering pebble.. loved that. I have dropped any adherence to 575 (I think)

  3. Personally, I rather like 5-7-5. There's something to be said for the discipline of writing within the confines of a particular form. Without form, anything goes. I've even seen a so-called haiku consisting of only two words. Really??? However, each to his, her or its own!

  4. I have been chided on another site for not keeping to the 5-7-5 count.
    So I have two versions of those posts. But I tend not to post there often unless the prompt really grabs me. I do ... as MMT like the form of 5-7-5 but keeping to the 17 syllables has "saved" my haiku a couple of times.

    Again, as with MMT, two words, doesn't seem to be haiku for me, but each person has to decide. I tend to write 5-7-5 and see how it reads out loud.

    Now for this post...your photo is awesome and I love "Shimmering pebbles" .. an exciting combination of words for me.