Monday, July 7, 2014

Carpe Diem #509 Chiyo-Ni (2) ''in an unknown sky''

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are entering almost the 2econd third of this wonderful CDHK month full of classic haiku written by the ''big-five'' and today we encounter the second haiku by Chiyo-Ni, the most known female haiku poetess of the classic Japanese history.

Kaga no Chiyo, considered one of the foremost women haiku poets, began writing at the age of seven. She studied under two haiku masters who had themselves apprenticed with the great poet, Basho.... In 1755, Chiyo became a Buddhist nun -- not, she said, in order to renounce the world, but as a way 'to teach her heart to be like the clear water which flows night and day'. From that moment on she is known as Chiyo-Ni (Ni means nun).
Credits: Chiyo-Ni (1703-1775)
Chiyo-Ni is known for her wonderful Morning Glorie's haiku, but today we don't have a haiku on Morning Glories by her. We have another haiku written by her, not so wellknown I think, but a strong one. It's an autumn haiku.

meigetsu ya ittemo ittemo yoso no sora

autumn's bright moon,
however far I walked, still afar off
in an unknown sky

© Chiyo-Ni

In this haiku there is a feeling of separateness here which is not to be denied. The poetess realizes that she and the moon are two different entities, in a different sky, in a different world. There is a waka by Kotomichi (1798-1868) which expresses that other side of truth, that ''a man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots whose flower and fruitage is the world'' (Emereson, History):

down from the mountain,
the moon
accompanied me,
and when I opened the gate,
the moon to entered

© Kotomichi
Credits: Samuel Palmer, Late Twilight, Autumn Moon
What a wonderful poems don't you think so too? It will not be an easy task to write another haiku in the spirit of Chiyo-Ni, but I have to try.

at the mountain top
it looks like I am bigger than the moon
in her first quarter

© Chèvrefeuille

Well .... I hope you did like this post and I hope that it will inspire you all to write new haiku or senryu. This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 10th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, our 2nd Ghost Writer post of this CDHK-month, later on.


  1. her work is beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Another wonderful post enriching all of us with haiku knowledge ~ thanks, ^_^

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  3. Really enjoy these Haiku. The Moon and "in an unknown sky" are always mysterious and inspiring. Thank You. : )

  4. I posted late at

    same moon shines bright
    far away city and home
    over the moon and back

    Peace, Siggi