Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Carpe Diem "Ghost Writer" #28, Chèvrefeuille's Memory-Lane along all the special features

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you all know I write my haiku under the pseudonym "Chèvrefeuille". I use that name since I started writing haiku in English. I started Carpe Diem in October 2012 as "Chèvrefeuille's Carpe Diem, a daily haiku meme" in short I only used "Carpe Diem" as Carpe Diem evolved and became "bigger" I changed the name into Carpe Diem Haiku Kai (in this name "Kai" means "group").
As I started with this daily haiku-meme I wouldn't have dreamed that I would be still your host here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Being your host takes a lot of my time, but I like doing it. Of course sometimes, through lack of time, posts are delayed or special features follow not always the scheme I had planned for it, well ... maybe that's the strength of our Carpe Diem Haiku Kai ... we are flexible and adaptive in times of lack of time.

As I started with Carpe Diem in 2012 I had only (next to the regular post) the CD-Special, in which I share haiku (or quotes) for inspiration in every month by a featured haiku-poet or other wellknown person. And I shared Carpe Diem Previews in which I also looked back to the shared haiku on carpe Diem. I even had a few months an Award for the best haiku (or haiku-poet), but after doing that a few times I realized that we are all winners and that awards aren't that important.
During the years of Carpe Diem I sometimes had "theme" weeks e.g. a week about all the colors of the rainbow or all signs from the Zodiac. I remember that I had a special week about the eight ancient world wonders and we made once a trip around the world through different kinds of dancing e.g Tango (Argentina).

Inbetween all the regular prompts there was a moment that I thought what can I do more to make Carpe Diem Haiku Kai a great weblog? I decided to create special features. I love to go along a "memory-lane" of all these Special features:

2012 - the start of Carpe Diem, we had only regular and special prompts

2013 - On January 18 I started with "CD Imagination" in which I give a photo, painting or something for your inspiration;
2013 - April was a very special month because of a few celebrations we had:
            First in that month I became 50
            Second in that month I celebrated 25 years of being a haiku-poet
            Third I realized that in this month I also worked 25 years in Health care
In this month we had a Zodiac feature and April 27th I launched our haibun -feature "Kamishibai"
2013 - May was all about Tarot ... in that month we discovered the Great Arcana and the connection between Christianity and Tarot.
2013 - June was the month in which I started our weekly Tan Renga Challenge and we performed our first "virtual" Kasen No Renga Session.
2013 - July short before this month Paulo Coelho published his new nove "Manuscript found in Accra" and this month all the prompts were extracted from that novel;
In July all our CD-Specials were haiku written by Jane Reichhold.
Also in this month I launched two new features "CD Freestyle" (July 5th) and "CD Little Ones" (July 25th)
2013 - August all our prompts were wonderful pieces of music by Karunesh and I launched our CD "Distillation" feature.
2013 - September was the month of Classical Kigo for autumn and I started with CD "Goes back to it's roots" (Sept. 13th) and CD "Oku No Hosomichi" (Sept. 11th)
2013 - October we had our first anniversary in which month all the prompts were provided by our family-members of Carpe Diem. I started with "Revise That Haiku" (Oct. 12th) and "Tanka Shrine" (Oct. 23rd) and  "Make The Haiku Complete" (Oct. 8th).
2013 - November all our daily prompts were Tan Renga Challenges.
2013 - December Another month full of inspirational music by Adrian Von Ziegler. On December 15th I launched "Sweet Memories" and a few days later "Bookshelf" (Dec. 18th)

2014 - started with a trip straight through the Soviet Union by train with the novel "Aleph" by Paulo Coelho in our hand
2014 - After our adventure straight through the Soviet Union we arrived at Shikoku Island on which we went on a pilgrimage along 88 temples, and in the shadow of that pilgrimage we followed Paulo Coelho in his pilgrimage to Santiago De Compostella.
2014 - April was a nce month in which I created our first Ghost Writer Week, "Pick up the pieces", "Tan Renga Squared" and "Only the First Line".
2014 - May was all about Myth, Legend and Sage
2014 - June in this month we had all Modern Kigo compiled by Jane Reichhold and I launched the first episode of "Analyze that Haiku".
2014 - In July I introduced our first "Sea Shell Game" to you and we had all haiku by the "Big Five" (Basho, Chiyo-Ni, Buson, Issa and Shiki)
2014 - August was a wonderful month in which we discovered "Sand And Foam" by Khalil Gibran and we started with a few new features. "Sparkling Stars", "Little Creatures" and our three days challenge "Vision Quest)
2014 - September ... has brought us also wonderful Modern Kigo by Jane Reichhold, but it also brought us the honor that Jane Reichhold decided to be the host of our "Ask Jane ..." feature. Of course there were (a lot of) new features as e.g: "Soliloquy No Renga", "Remember This Music?", "Arti Visual haiku" and our "Time Glass" challenge to write haiku within 12 hours.

As I re-read this list, than I realize that Carpe Diem Haiku Kai has really evolved to a weblog that is great. For this GW-post I have no linking widget or something, because you don't have to write in response on a prompt. I just want to ask you all something:

Which special features you like and which special features I can skip (delete)? Do you have ideas for new special features? Just let me know what you think about the special features of our Haiku Kai. It's OUR Haiku Kai, so you all can share thoughts and ideas to make it even better ...

I will (try to) post our next episode, Hatsu Hana (March 2013), later on. For now ... please share your ideas with me through the comment field.


Chèvrefeuille, your host


  1. Really fantastic summary! I will think about your question....

  2. I think we could have a modified Sea Shell Game every 3 mnths or so, where on 1 EXACT day we post what we think is our strongest haiku from that past 3 months, or one month. We can all send you 3 votes or we don't need to vote, just see what we all consider is our best. We could ALSO have a ''nomimate'' day, where we post the haiku from someone else we think is the best.. By that I mean someone else in Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

    1. I also like the idea of everyone submitting -- on one particular day -- their strongest haiku for the past month.

      And a nomination day would be nice too --

  3. I wish I could have been more present sometimes.. Of the past I have appreciated the kigo months and the Specials.. they always inspire me a little extra. My own blog has evolved in parallel to Carpe Diem, and I have gradually learned more and more of poetry (not just haiku).. to the level that I now view myself as a poet.. I have learned so much, and also love to share. I just wish I could spend more time commenting.. but my week seem to have too few hours. To find the form of how to do real renga would be great..

  4. I really enjoy the tan renga but have been super busy so haven't been able to do it lately. I'm hoping to get caught up so I can. I think we don't need an endless amount of special features, unless that's fun for you. We really enjoy the blog and you as host, but it's important to not get overwhelmed. The feature I am least enthusiastic about is the competitive feature--I see us as a haiku family, and I don't feel like it's good to be competing. I think it's more important to learn from each other.

  5. I love, love, love tan renga. I prefer kigo prompts that are nature based (plants, animals, seasons, weather) rather than festival, religious, spiritual, or mythological.
    Oddly, though, I do like taking a poem and distilling it. Those are fun.
    I also like creating a haiku or tanka from an inspiration poem (in the spirit of)

  6. Hello Chevrefeuille --

    So many specials -- just amazing to see it all written out like that!

    For me, I love the music-inspired prompts. They seem to pull images and emotions from deep in the subconscious, pulling poetry into new directions. The time-glass features are great in that they force us to "shoot from the hip" so to speak. And the sparkling stars are great in that they encourage us to remember the basics (kigo, cutting word, etc.) - something that gets lost if we're not careful. And of course you know I'm partial to the little creatures. :)

    Book series are a bit more difficult due to time constraints - it's hard to follow along with the progress in the book *and* meet the prompt on time.

    Would love to see more music-inspired prompts and more mythology-inspired prompts.

    Thanks for all you do for us Chevrefeuille :)

  7. Bjorn: This is for you:

  8. I started my blog as a solo poet posting and accepting comments from haiku friends, then ventured into collaborations, then blog hopping, which brought me to Carpe Diem, i have enjoyed your wonderful highly creative features, and would luv to participate in Kasen Renku here in the future

    Much love...

  9. I love the inspirations you give us from like Jane Reichold, Buson, Basho, Coelho. So many options but I also believe in simplicity. If you get so many different prompts its easy to get lost.

    1. I, too, would appreciate fewer prompts. As Moondustwriter says, it's easy to get lost with so many prompts to choose from. One prompt a day is enough, thank you!

  10. Firstly, thank you for all your work on Carpe Diem. I am only new here and am still trying to work out what it all means. I find giving examples very helpful to model my haiku on. I know the essence of haiku is not humour but I cannot help including it sometimes. Maybe we could stretch the boundaries sometimes and include avant garde haiku like the beat poets. Spoken with musical interludes or if you cannot provide the music just using bongo drums or sound effects or something like that (giggles)...

    1. Yes - the avant garde haiku poets are wonderful -- it's good to see their unusual perspectives and often quirky sense of humor. Rallentanda - you'd probably like scifaiku!

  11. Chèvrefeuille, you have done (are doing) an absolutely amazing job here, on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai! And you surely are a source of inspiration - not only as a haiku poet but also as a well, always full of ideas. It has been a wonderful journey along the Carpe Diem path together with the people who enjoy haiku, renga etc. poetry.
    Must agree with Lolly about preferring kigo prompts over religious/mythological ones - they are fun to try wrapping my mind around. The new challenges - "Remember This Music/", "Arti Visual Haiku" and "Time Glass" have been something I liked a lot, being a visualiser and a fan of music as I am. Also "Tan Renga Challenge" has been interesting - to see how a haiku, written by somebody else, keeps evolving.. I have been less active with "distillation" on Carpe Diem.
    I also like Pirate' s idea about the Sea Shell Game - our/someone else' s strongest haiku on a particular day.

  12. First of all I'd just like to say that I really enjoy how you have organized your blog ... it's fantastically varied and challenging! There are so many things I like about Carpe Diem Haiku Kai that it's hard to say I like this one or that one. I love the specials that pop up and take me into a world I don't usually visit ... and I loved the little ones with the other types of small poetry found in the world. I like kigo that have a nature or a "every day" theme and am less interested in religious prompts. I loved Remembr this Music ... Arti Visual Haiku was interesting and the Time Glass drives me crazy because I'm usually late getting to it. The distillation of poems was wonderful and I'm looking forward to choka as I think that although haiku is tops it's nice to understand and write the waka as well. As fpr the Sea Shell game, strangely enough, I don't remember how it worked but I absolutely love - love - love the around the clock game (but can't recall exactly what it's called.) Thanks for all your efforts e buon lavoro ... Ciao, Georgia