Saturday, January 4, 2014

Carpe Diem ''Distillation'' #6, ''Carpe Diem by William Shakespeare''

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have finally time to catch up with a few of our special features. So here is our new episode of Carpe Diem 'Distillation' in which the goal is to 'distil' a haiku from a longer poem written by a wellknown poet or poetess, modern as wel as classic. I was searching for a poem with the same title as our Haiku Kai and ran into a poem titled 'Carpe Diem' by William Shakespeare. I think you all know Shakespeare, but I love to tell a little bit more about him.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, in Stratford-on-Avon. The son of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, he was probably educated at the King Edward IV Grammar School in Stratford, where he learned Latin and a little Greek and read the Roman dramatists. At eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, a woman seven or eight years his senior. Together they raised two daughters: Susanna, who was born in 1583, and Judith (whose twin brother died in boyhood), born in 1585.
In 1594, Shakespeare joined the Lord Chamberlain's company of actors, the most popular of the companies acting at Court. In 1599 Shakespeare joined a group of Chamberlain's Men that would form a syndicate to build and operate a new playhouse: the Globe, which became the most famous theater of its time. With his share of the income from the Globe, Shakespeare was able to purchase New Place, his home in Stratford.
While Shakespeare was regarded as the foremost dramatist of his time, evidence indicates that both he and his contemporaries looked to poetry, not playwriting, for enduring fame. Shakespeare's sonnets were composed between 1593 and 1601, though not published until 1609. That edition, The Sonnets of Shakespeare, consists of 154 sonnets, all written in the form of three quatrains and a couplet that is now recognized as Shakespearean. The sonnets fall into two groups: sonnets 1-126, addressed to a beloved friend, a handsome and noble young man, and sonnets 127-152, to a malignant but fascinating "Dark Lady," whom the poet loves in spite of himself. Nearly all of Shakespeare's sonnets examine the inevitable decay of time, and the immortalization of beauty and love in poetry.
Sometime after 1612, Shakespeare retired from the stage and returned to his home in Stratford. He drew up his will in January of 1616, which included his famous bequest to his wife of his "second best bed." He died on April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later at Stratford Church.

Poster from The Twelfth Night 1902

The poem "Carpe Diem" comes from the 3rd scene of the 2nd act of his drama 'Twelfth Night' and here it is:

O Mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love’s coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journeys end in lovers’ meeting—
Every wise man’s son doth know.

What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,—
Then come kiss me, Sweet-and-twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

As I read this poem again .. I realize that this could be easily connect to our Trans Siberian Railroad month and 'Aleph' ... this occurred conincidental ... but I like it ...

Now it's the task to distil a haiku from this poem ... it wasn't easy, but I think I did well. Here is my distilled haiku form the poem 'Carpe Diem' by William Shakespeare:

secret lovers
hiding between the curtains -
sweet kisses

Hm ... I like this one, but it's not my best ever (smiles).

You can submit your distilled haiku until January 25th 11.59 AM (CET). This episode of 'distillation' is NOW OPEN.


  1. I like your distillation--I think it is a nice moment from the Shakespeare

  2. This is interesting, Kris! Not an easy one but I try.

  3. This one was fun.. a really playful little poem.. where I really wanted to keep a little bit of that comedy despite the message of playing while you're young (Carpe Diem)... your interpretation is really sweet

  4. I was a good time when I come here. Thanks, Kristjaan.

  5. Argggg! I meant it is always...has my awkward note kept you away?

    1. Of course not LaTonya it's great to see you here again.