Saturday, September 13, 2014

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #5, Kishu's "a crow passes"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another week with wonderful posts has gone by and it's already time for a new episode of CD's "Sparkling Stars" in which haiku come by of both classic and modern haiku-poets. This week I have chosen for a haiku by a not so wellknown haiku-poet named Karakoromo Kishu (1743-1802).

[...] "The fall of the year is not merely the fall of the leaves but the fall of the vital powers in all natural things including man. We feel it ourselves and are thus and thus only able to see it in things outside." [...] (R.H.Blyth)

aki no kure  karasu mo nakade  tori keri

an autumn evening;
without a cry,
a crow passes

© Kishu

How well this illustrates that which is neither silence nor speaking! In the relative world, a bird must either sing or be silent, but in the world of poetry, either may be something which is neither. Its song or its soundlessness may have a meaning beyond these opposites. That is to say, the world of poetry is not the absolute, what ever that may be; it comes into being when the absolute and the relative are one. As the poet stands there in the autumn evening, a crow flies by without haste. It utters no sound, and this very fact seems to draw the soul out of him, to take away her breath. Somehow or other, at that moment, a depth is opened up within and without her.

Credits: Crows Japanese Woodblock Print by Kyosai (1831-1889)

What a wonderful haiku Kishu has written. Kishu wasn't a wellknown haiku-poet. He grants us a glimpse of his world with this haiku ... the autumn evening, maybe it was such an evening in which the earth shares her perfume after a heavy rainstorm or maybe it was an autumn evening in the period we call Indian Summer, or the aftermath of summer. No one knows it, only Kishu knows. As I see the scene of his haiku ... I think he was in awe with the beauty of that autumn evening and the deep silence of it ... suddenly a crow passes ... he expects sound, but nothing is heard ... the crow passes in silent devotion of the wonderful autumn evening.

The goal of CD's "Sparkling Stars" is similar to our regular CD-Specials: write a haiku inspired on the given one and in the same mood, sense and spirit as that given one. So to write an all new haiku ... you need to become one with the scene and the feeling it gives you ... be part of the scene ... live the scene and become inspired.

the moon reflects in the pond
this autumn evening - deep silence
the rustling of leaves

© Chèvrefeuille

And now it's up to you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, to write an all new haiku. Have fun!

This episode of Carpe Diem's "Sparkling Stars" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will be open until next Saturday September 20th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode of CD's "Sparkling Stars" around that closing time.


  1. My post was inspired by your feature here of Kishu's autumn haiku...and the gorgeous photo from your earlier "full circle" prompt...thank you for hosting!

  2. Thank you for introducing Kishu to us -- this haiku is wonderful. Your commentary and haiku give us a lot to think about too.

  3. I love this feature - it makes me think deeper..

  4. Crows are a misunderstood bird Native Peoples have a different view of them: