Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Carpe Diem #608, dusk

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful discussion about Kanshicho-styled haiku we have had. I am waiting for the response of Henri Kerlen to get his view on Kanshicho-styled haiku.

Today we have a nice prompt I think and I have chosen to use a piece of "inspirational music" to bring this prompt to you. So this episode will be a kind of "Carpe Diem's "Remember this music", a special feature, which I have just used once. The goal is to write a haiku inspired on the music and the prompt. And maybe you have your own memories about a piece of music with dusk, our prompt for today, to share with us. The submitted haiku can be classical or non-classical ... the choice is yours.

This piece of music is from Emancipator and is called "from dusk to dawn". So this piece of music is about the night and I think this can inspire you in a lot of ways.

I love to share a little "story" about "dusk" on a haiku composed by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694):

"In the late autumn of 1694 (...), at the end of his life, Basho wrote the following hokku, which appears in Backpack Diary (Oi nikki; 1695).

this road--
no one goes down it
autumn's end

kono / michi / ya / yuku / hito / nashi / ni / aki / no / kure
this / road / : /go / person / none / as / autumn / 's / end

This hokku, which was composed at a large haikai gathering, can be read as a straightforward description of the scene before the poet, as an expression of disappointment that, at the end of his life, in the autumn of his career - "aki no kure" can mean either "autumn's end" or "autumn evening" - he is alone, or that life is lonely, and as an expression of disappointment at the lack of sympathetic poetic partners (renju), that is, as an expression of desire for those who can engage in the poetic dialogue necessary to continue on this difficult journey.

Significantly, on Basho's last journey in the summer of 1694, from Edo to Iga, he deliberately stopped at Nagoya, to try to heal the breach with his former poetry companions, those surrounding Kakei, and then he departed for Osaka, where he would die, in attempt to mediate a territorial dispute between two disciples, Shado and Shido."

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)
And I found a few other haiku on "dusk", especially "autumn dusk" (which is a classical kigo or seasonword) composed by e.g. Kobayashi Issa.

hitotsu naku wa oya nashi tori yo aki no kure

alone he cries
the motherless bird...
autumn dusk

mata hito ni kakenukare keri aki no kure

yet another traveler
overtakes me...
autumn dusk

© Issa (Tr. David Lanoue)

And I found a nice haiku by one of Basho's disciples/students, Ransetsu:

At dusk the harvest moon
paints a pine-tree
against the blue

© Ransetsu

I think that you have enough inspiration for today's prompt, dusk. So ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

Credits: Forest pond at dusk

in the light of dusk
the backyard becomes a spooky place -
I light the garden

© Chèvrefeuille

hiding in dreams
scared for the spooky shadows on the wall
the little boy sleeps

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 22nd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, escape, later on.


  1. lovely post and prompt.
    sadness and melancholy mingled

  2. Very poetic - and atmospheric haiku of yours....hoping for a fun, light prompt soon for Bjorn and I! These long dark Nordic nights pull hard! Or maybe I could do a Ghostwriter on joyful haiku!

  3. Another great post, Kristjaan :)