Sunday, July 20, 2014

Carpe Diem #521 Issa (4), ''O cooling melons!"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I think you all will be surprised to read another episode of our CDHK-haiku-family, but during other activities I have decided to publish a second episode today. However ... that episode will be open for your submissions next Monday at 7.00 PM (CET), as was the original plan. So I hope you don't mind.

Today (Tuesday July 22th) I love to share another haiku by Issa, his fourth of this month. It's a nice haiku and it's a real example of Issa's ''child-like'' look at the world. It's really a joy for me to prepare these episodes to help your inspiration flow.

Here is the fourth haiku by Issa:

hito kitara kawazu to nare yo hiyashi uri

if anyone comes,
turn into frogs,
o cooling melons!

© Kobayashi Issa

Issa has just put some melons into a tub of water outside the house, to cool them. As they float on the surface of the water, their green bellies remind him of frogs, just at the moment that he has a feeling of hesitation, of uneasiness, at leaving them ungarded. This momentary see-sawing of the mind makes the notion of melons turning into frogs more than merely fanciful. The humour also, joins where it seems to separate.

Credits: Melon turned into a frog
Another haiku on melons by Issa is the following:

nusubito no miru to mo shirade hiyashi uri

of the gaze of the thief. -
melons in cool

© Kobayashi Issa

This essential immobility,imperturbability of the melons being cooled in cold water is here grasped and expressed through the contrast with the greediness of the would-be thief, probably Issa himself. Man, and the world of things he is in, are brought before the single eye of the mind.

Both are in my opinion gorgeous haiku ... and I think these will inspire you all to write new haiku. Here is my attempt to write a haiku in response of this haiku by Issa.

cooling down
together with the melons
I take a bath

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode will be open for your submissions Monday July 21th at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 24th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, the fourth haiku by Shiki, later on. Sorry that you have to wait a little while before you can respond on this episode.


  1. These melon haiku are delightful...both Issa's and yours! Curious...never saw melons in a tank of water, would the melons sink or bob??

    1. Being mostly composed of air and water in a sealed shell, I believe they would bob or float. :)

      Guessing that tank of water was in use way before electric refrigeration :)

  2. Kristjaan, i just read the side bar of your blog here and agree that whoever did this must be brought to justice. My sympathy goes out to the Dutch families and others who grieve loved ones lost on that flight. The world is shocked.

  3. Great Haiku, and the Melon Frog is the best thing I've seen in a while!

  4. How fun is this post ... loved the frog melon salad!