Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Carpe Diem #454, midday nap

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to prepare an all new episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Today our prompt is midday nap and it brought a haiku by Basho into my mind. So after I have shared the haiku by Jane Reichhold I love to share that haiku by Basho.

beach nap
plugged into the power
of incoming waves

A lovely haiku based on our prompt for today. Not entirely a midday nap, but I can imagine how it feels to fall asleep on the beach. The warm sun, the crying of seaguls, the soft ocean breeze and the sound of the waves ... really all things to become sleepy and overwhelmed ...

Credits: frog pond

To return to what I said earlier in this post, the haiku by Basho.
As you all should have noticed Basho's my 'role-model', my 'idol'. Several fellow haiku poets have told me that my haiku are touched by Basho's Spirit. In other words my haiku according to fellow haiku poets, are in the same tone and sphere as Basho's. I am honoured that fellow haiku poets are so positive about my haiku.
Basho wrote almost thousand haiku in his lifetime, mostly in the last ten years of his life. A big part of those haiku he wrote during renga sessions and while he was travelling through Japan. He wrote several haibun about his travels. His most well known haibun is titled "Oku No Hosomichu", "The Narrow Road to the Deep North". "The Narrow Road" was and is still a classical one.
One of his most known haiku "the old pond" he wrote shortly after he moved to Edo in 1682:

furu ike ya kawaza tobi komu mizu no oto

the old pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water

(c) Basho

It's a famous haiku of Basho and it was one of the first haiku I ever read. It stimulated me to write haiku myself.

hiya hiya to kabe wo fumae te hiru ne kana

a midday nap
putting the feet against the wall
it feels cool

(c) Basho (translation by  R.H. Blyth)

chilly coolness
my feet on the wall
a midday nap

(c) Basho  (translation by  Jane Reichhold)

Basho wrote this one in the midst of July 1694. Several months later he died on October 12.

Credits: Matsuo Basho's tumbstone, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan

'A midday nap' is not a well known haiku of Basho, but in my opinion it's a wonderful one. He goes back to the essential element of summer heat ... to cool down. In this haiku the cooling down comes from the cool wall to which he is putting his feet. It's just the simple experience of the cool wall on a hot summer day.

this summerday
the heat makes me drowsy -
the cool stone wall

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this episode. If you would like to read more about the haiku by Basho, you can visit Basho Revisited, one of my other weblogs.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 25th 11.59 AM (CET). I will try to post our new episode, photographing, later on today. That episode will be a semi-Carpe Diem Imagination post with a photo for your inspiration.(By the way, I am hopelessly behind with commenting on all of your wonderful posts. I hope to catch up asap.)
For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.


  1. You've captured this so nicely. I can feel myself leaning against the coolness of the wall for some respite from the heat!

  2. Lovely haiku and happy Earth Day

  3. I too see Basho in the spirit of your work.

  4. Hi, Kristjaan! Thanks for the work on this interesting promp!

  5. Your spring series of haiku are so colourful and peaceful. I am fighting with these prompts and will not give up!