Saturday, February 28, 2015

Carpe Diem #677, companionship

!!! I have solved the problem !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at an all new month of Carpe Diem. This month we will have a special month, because this  month we will have our first Haiga-Festival month. What does that mean?
You have to respond on the prompts given with a haiga (picture & haiku/tanka) and of course the picture has to be one of your own, so you must have the copyright of it.
I realise that this will take a little bit more time, so this month I will prolong the responding time of every episode (except the CD-Special, CD-Little Creatures, Sparkling Stars and Time Glass) with 24 hours. I hope that will be enough extra time to respond.

Today our first prompt is companionship and it speaks for it's own I think, but I will try to explain why I have chosen for this prompt to start with. I have chosen for this prompt because I feel like we are all companions on the road to perfecting our haiku (and tanka) skills and I am glad with that companionship. And I remembered my first English haiku ever "a single flower / my companion / for one night" and that haiku I will use for inspiration for this episode ... to compose a tanka (smiles).

cherry blossom
accompanied by a snail
making the day
climbing and growing to the light
that's companionship

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Yes ... I almost can hear you all think "Chèvrefeuille composed a tanka!" Yes I am ... I am trying to master this poetry form also ... and so I will try them more often this month.
Well ... I hope you all did like this post and I am looking forward to all of your wonderful haiga ... have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 4th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, happiness, later on.

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #19, James A. Emanuel (1921-2013) "jazz-haiku"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time again for our bi-weekly feature "Sparkling Stars" in which I share haiku (or tanka) composed by classical and non-classical haiku-poets and today I have chosen for a haiku written by a modern American haiku-poet (the founder of "jazz-haiku") James A. Emanuel who has passed away in 2013. I love to honor him with this episode of Sparkling Stars.

James A. Emanuel was born June 15, 1921, in Alliance, Nebraska. He earned a B.A. from Howard University, an M.A. from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Among his books of poetry are Jazz from the Haiku King (1999), De la rage au coeur, (Thaon, 1992, translated by Jean Migrenne and Amiot Lenganey), Whole Grain: Collected Poems, 1958-1989 (1990), The Quagmire Effect (1988), Deadly James and Other Poems (1987), The Broken Bowl: New and Uncollected Poems (1983), Black Man Abroad: The Toulouse Poems (1978), and At Bay (1969). He is also the author of Langston Hughes (1967) and the editor, with Theodore L. Gross, of Dark Symphony: Negro Literature in America (1968). Emanuel's essays and other writings have been included in many anthologies and periodicals. Among his honors are a John Hay Whitney Award, a Saxton Memorial Fellowship, and a Special Distinction Award from the Black American Literature Forum. James Emanuel has been a professor of English at the University of Grenoble and the University of Toulouse, among other universities. He lived in Paris at the time of his passing (September 28, 2013). (Biography from the Academy of American Poets website.)
James A. Emauel (1921-2013)
From: Whole Grain : Collected Poems, 1958-1989; Lotus Press, Detroit, 1991; with translations by Jean Migrenne.[…] In 1992 in “Le Barry,” the country home of the Plassard family in southwest France, where I have now and then composed poetry for over twenty-five years, I planned an apparently new literary genre, the “jazz haiku”. My “breakaway haiku” in Deadly James and Other Poems (1987) had begun my experiments with the Japanese 3-line form, adhering to its 5-7-5 syllabic pattern, but widening its sensory impact beyond the capacity of the usual single impression. My haiku added the toughness of poverty and racial injustice, the declarative emphasis made possible by narrative style, and the technical challenge of time. […] © James A. Emanuel. 
Here are a few haiku written by
James A. Emanuel, this series of four (4) haiku is about Mahalia Jackson.

« I sing the LORD'S songs »
(psalms once tough to stay alive,
alarm clock on five).

Cinnamon cheeks, Lord,
cornbread smile.     SONGS     feed your ribs
when you're hungry, chile.

Washboard certainties,
soldierly grace, text and style
in her brimming face.

Your hand on your heart,
her voice in your ear:     pilgrim,
rest easy.     Sit here.

This is a wonderful modern American haiku-poet who passed away in 2013 leaving a rich oeuvre of poetry behind which you can find on several websites. I love to share this haiku with you all as a kind of tribute to James A. Emanuel, the founder of “Jazz-haiku”.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) (Dutch website)
after the fall of the wall
visiting East Berlin with my love
and all that jazz

© Chèvrefeuille

I remember visiting a Jazzkeller in East Berlin short after the fall of the Berlin Wall ... it was a great experience and it felt great to be there ... The artist than I recall played a piece of Jazz-music which I knew from Duke Ellington. A video of that piece of music you can see here after.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Saturday March 7th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Carpe Diem #676, The Orchard

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is our last episode of our Impressionism month ... I am a bit sad, but I am also excited, because we start with a new month full of wonder. For this last episode I have chosen a impressionism painting by Camille Pissarro, the father of impressionism, the father of divers impressionism painters.

Camille Pissarro (French: [kamij pisaʁo]; 10 July 1830 – 13 November 1903) was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.
In 1873 he helped establish a collective society of fifteen aspiring artists, becoming the "pivotal" figure in holding the group together and encouraging the other members. Art historian John Rewald called Pissarro the "dean of the Impressionist painters", not only because he was the oldest of the group, but also "by virtue of his wisdom and his balanced, kind, and warmhearted personality". Cézanne said "he was a father for me. A man to consult and a little like the good Lord," and he was also one of Gauguin's masters. Renoir referred to his work as "revolutionary", through his artistic portrayals of the "common man", as Pissarro insisted on painting individuals in natural settings without "artifice or grandeur".
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Pissarro is the only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886. He "acted as a father figure not only to the Impressionists" but to all four of the major Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.
Credits: Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes (1872) - Camille Pissarro
This guy is awesome I think and I like his features ... look that beard, those eyes with the wrinkles a great image of him. To me he looks really like a father-figure ... and I had never heard of him, but his paintings I knew ...
And this particular one is one of his masterpieces worth to be honored with a masterpiece haiku ... can I do that? I have to try ..., but let me first look at a few haiku about "the orchard" by other haiku poets. I have found two wonderful haiku written by two modern haiku poets, I couldn't retrieve an e-mail-address, so I credit them (as I always do by the way):

Heavy rain all night—
with closed eyes I see
the orchard, the dripping leaves.

Billy Collins (From “She was just seventeen”)

Flowering orchard,
born again every year.
I welcome the blossoms

Herman van Rompuy (former president of the EU)

Well ... I think these haiku are great and really wonderful ... and now I have to write/compose one myself ...

harvesting apples
in the backyard of my granddad
the old orchard

(c) Chèvrefeuille
Vincent Van Gogh, The Olive Orchard 1889
Credits: The Olive Orchard - Vincent Van Gogh 1889

sweet perfume
harvesting the ripe olives
to make oil

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This was our last episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai this month ... it was a pleasure and a joy to be your host (this month together with Jen of Blog It Or Lose It) and I have enjoyed all of your wonderful haiku and tanka and not to forget the beautiful haibun and even sometimes a troiku ... really it was an awesome month. I am proud to be your host, and I feel humble that I may be your host here at CDHK. I am looking forward to our new month of Carpe Diem in which we will become our own "impressionists", because March will be the month of our Haiga Festival.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 2nd at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, companionship, later on.

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #75, MMT's "first yellow blossom"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to make another Tan Renga Challenge (TRC) for you. I can't even believe that it is already Friday again. Time flies. As you all maybe know ... last week I started with my new task at Mindlovemisery's Menagerie by writing the Fairy Tale prompt ... so I have a little bit less time for CDHK, but of course CDHK will stay my most important "job" (next to my work as an oncology nurse).

This week I have chosen a haiku composed by MMT of Tales from a Sonoran Desert Classroom and she wrote that haiku in response on our Time Machine prompt "yellow" (hosted by Jen). Why have I chosen for her haiku this week? Well .... recently I saw the very first yellow blossoms of the Forsythia ... and short after that I read this wonderful haiku by MMT. Coincedence? No I think not her haiku needed to be used for our Tan Renga Challenge ... and so it will happen.

Here is MMT's haiku which is the starting verse (hokku) of this week's Tan Renga Challenge:

first yellow blossom
sprouting from a slender branch—
Buddha bows his head

© Magical Mystical Teacher

Credits: Forsythia
It's a very nice haiku, but it will not be easy to write a second stanza (two lines, 7-7) towards it to complete or continue it. As I look at myself ... I have to contemplate a little about this haiku to "re-form" it into a Tan Renga ... so I leave this episode of our Tan Renga Challenge without writing my own second stanza towards it at this moment.

This episode of our TRC is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Friday March 6th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Carpe Diem #675, House (au Auvers)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a lovely month we have had this February and what a joy it will be to go on with images next month, but than made by yourself, because next month it is haiga-festival month. Of course I will give you all more time to respond, I will prolong the time to respond with 24 hours.

Ok back to today's prompt House (au Auvers) a wonderful painting (post-impressionism) by Vincent Van Gogh. In his last years he lived at Auvers were he has painted a lot of Auvers houses and I couldn't decide which to use, so I have chosen for a not so well known painting of a House au Auvers by Van Gogh.

Credits: House au Auvers - Vincent Van Gogh
It's a wonderful painting and I think you can see that this painting is from the post impressionism time. It's more a realistic image and not an impression. I think this is one of his most beautiful paintings and I think it will inspire you all ... in a great way.

green and yellow
shadows dance on the wall
a gentle breeze

(c) Chèvrefeuille

I have tried to catch an "impression" of the painting in this haiku and I even have tried to bring in a few Writing Techniques e.g. karumi and wabi sabi. I don't know if I have succeeded, but I like this haiku a lot.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, The Orchard, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku (or tanka) with us all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #134, Fuyuko Tomita's "actors we all are, she said "

!! I have published our new promp-list for March 2015 see the menu above !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's a sad idea, but today is our last CD-Special of this month. I have introduced a great Dutch haiku poetess to you and I think I have shared wonderful haiku (and tanka) written by her. So today her last haiku for your inspiration ... no I think I share a tanka written by her. This tanka is in my opinion a real beauty and very strong in images ...

Hito wa mina/onore o utsusu/ kagami nari/mina sariyukuyo to/emishi hito wamo
Actors we all are, she said
mirrors to reflect
each other
We all leave the stage, she said
and left a smile in mine

© Fuyuko Tomita

Did I say to much? A beauty isn't it. As you all know I am not that good in writing tanka and therefor I will not respond here with a tanka or a haiku. I just will sit, lean back and see how you all are going to respond ... maybe I will become inspired at least.
This was our last CD-Special and I am already looking forward to our next month's featured haiku poet, a contemporary of Shiki, who has written a lot of haiku ... and I hope you all like him as much as I do.

Fuyuko Tomita
This CD-Special is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 28th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, House (at Auvers), later on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #8, Karumi (Lightness)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Wednesday again and it's time for a new episode of our Haiku Writing Techniques. This week I love to tell you more about one of the most delightful concepts of haiku writing, Karumi (or Lightness). The concept of Karumi isn't a new idea, it comes from the other Japanese arts and Basho has tried to bring that Karumi concept into haiku writing in the, say, last ten years of his life.

Not so long ago I got a gift from Jane Reichhold, a copy of her book "Basho, the complete haiku". You all will understand that I started immediately with reading it, after all (as you all know) I see Basho as my haiku-master.
Jane has put a lot of effort in this book, more than ten (10) years, and of course I was excited and anxious to learn all the wonderful haiku by Basho.
Basho has meant a lot for haiku. He created several new ideas and writing techniques and was really a master of haiku. During his life Basho became in a way a Zen-Buddhist (he studied under Butcho, a Zen Buddhist monk), however he was never really a monk, only during his journeys.
In his time the Japanese roads weren't great, sometimes only small paths and travelers often were robbed  along the way. The most travelers chose to travel like a monk or priest, because that provided them free and save passage. Basho also traveled like a monk or priest, clothed in a black robe and a shaved head.

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Basho had a big group of disciples and followers close around him, but also widely spread over Japan.
Basho, the traveling poet (he undertook his journeys almost all in the last ten years of his life), had one goal in his last years. He was anxious to spread his idea, his concept, of Karumi (Lightness) in haiku. He even went on journeys to preach that concept notwithstanding his bad health. A lot of his disciples turned their back to him, because they wouldn't accept (or understand) his idea of Karumi.
Basho, however, tried strongly to "preach" his karumi idea, a technique which was known only from other kinds of Japanese art, for haiku. It's said that he himself managed this technique badly, because he couldn't find the right words to explain what karumi was. There are a few haiku by Basho in which karumi can be found. Here are a few examples:

Ko no moto wa shiru mo namasu mo sakura kana

Underneath the trees,
Soups and salads are buried
In cherry blossoms.

Uguisu ya mochi ni fun suru en no saki

A spring warbler casts
A dropping on the rice cakes —
The veranda edge..

© Basho

What is karumi?

Bashô developed this concept during his final travels in 1693. Karumi is perhaps one of the most important and least understood principles of haiku poetry. Karumi can best be described as “lightness,” or a sensation of spontaneity. In many ways, karumi is a principle rooted in the “spirit” of haiku, rather than a specific technique. Bashô taught his students to think of karumi as “looking at the bottom of a shallow stream”. When karumi is incorporated into haiku, there is often a sense of light humor or child-like wonderment at the cycles of the natural world. Many haiku using karumi are not fixed on external rules, but rather an unhindered expression of the poet’s thoughts or emotions. This does not mean that the poet forgets good structure; just that the rules of structure are used in a natural manner. In my opinion, karumi is “beyond” technique and comes when a poet has learned to internalize and use the principles of the art interchangeably.

In a way it brought me another idea.
Traditionally, and especially in Edo Japan, women did not have the male privelege of expanding their horizons, so their truth or spirituality was often found in the mundane. Women tend to validate daily life and recognize that miracles exist within the mundane, which is the core of haiku.There were females who did compose haiku, which were called "kitchen-haiku" by literati, but these "kitchen-haiku" had all the simplicity and lightness of karumi ... In a way Basho taught males to write like females, with more elegance and beauty, based on the mundane (simple) life of that time.

Morning Glories

Shiba Sonome, a female haiku poet, learned about karumi from Basho: “Learn about a pine tree from a pine tree, and about a bamboo plant from a bamboo plant.”

The poet should detach the mind from his own self. Nevertheless, some people interpret the word ‘learn’ in their own ways and never really ‘learn’. ‘Learn’ means to enter into the object, perceive its delicate life, and feel its feeling, whereupon a poem forms itself. Even a poem that lucidly describes an object could not attain a true poetic sentiment unless it contains the feelings that spontaneously emerged out of the object. In such a poem the object and the poet’s self would remain forever separate, for it was composed by the poet’s personal self.
Basho also said, “In my view a good poem is one in which the form of the verse, and the joining of its two parts, seem light as a shallow river flowing over its sandy bed”.

That, then, is karumi:  becoming as one with the object of your poem … experiencing what it means to be that object … feeling the life of the object … allowing the poem to flow from that feeling and that experience.

An example by Basho:

White chrysanthemum
I look holding it straight
no dust at all

© Basho

at dawn
I wash my feet with dew
the longest day

Sakura (woodblock) also karumi
feeling alone
lost in the woods around Edo –
just the autumn wind

© Yozakura

Karumi is lightness, simplicity, becoming one with the experience you have on that moment when you are composing your haiku. Karumi is, in my opinion, a higher level of the concept of Wabi Sabi, as we discussed in Haiku Writing Techniques episodes 6 & 7.
I think karumi can only be the concept for your haiku when you are not only a haiku poet, but also living haiku ... Living haiku is being one with the world around you including nature and enjoying the emptiness, loneliness and oneness of being part of nature as a human. A haiku poet (in my opinion) lives with nature, adores nature, praises nature and respects nature.
Haiku is not only a wonderful poem ... it's a life-style.

just one leaf
struggles with the wind
like Basho

© Chèvrefeuille

And here another one in which I hope I have touched karumi:

slowly a snail seeks
his path between Cherry blossoms
reaches for the sky

© Chèvrefeuille

Well I hope you did like this Haiku Writing Techniques episode. And I hope that it will inspire you to write an all new haiku, trying to catch karumi.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 27th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, our last CD special of this month, later on.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Carpe Diem #674, Channel

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have a not so well-known painter of impressionism for you, she is from Russia and she has painted beautiful paintings. This painting is titled "expactation", it shows a Venice channel.
Sapozhnikova Svetlana is a modern Russian artist, but she has painted a few wonderful impressionism paintings. One of them I will share here with you.
Sapozhnikova Svetlana. Expectation
Credits: Expectation - (c) Sapozhnikova Svetlana

It is very nice painting I think and it is really an impression of a scene somewhere on the day. It's somewhat "spooky" or "hazy" and in the background it looks like the world is vanishing.

And here is another painting also by Sapozhnikova Svetlana with the same scene only on a different time of the day as you can see at the used colors. This one is also a beauty.
Sapozhnikova Svetlana.
Credits: Another sight on the channel (c) Sapozhnikova Svetlana

It's the same sphere as in the first painting and it inspired me to write the following haiku, or "impression"
the sky colors
in the most bright blue and pink
a new day rises

a new day rises
above the Venice channels
fading carnival sounds

fading carnival sounds
even the sun and clouds
are crying

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... these are not my best haiku I think, but I like them for their impressions. Now it's up to you my dear Haijin to compose an all new haiku.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 26th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, another new episode of our Haiku Writing Techniques, later on.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Glass #22, first kiss

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy it was to have a weekend off and I have seen that Jen has done a great job and I hope you all did like her posts ... It was exciting to give my "pen" away for this weekend, but I am glad to have it (the pen) back. Thanks Jen for doing a great job this weekend ... maybe next month again?

It's Sunday again and so it is time for a new Time Glass episode in which you have to respond within 24 hours on a given image and prompt ... this week I ran into a wonderful poster of a Mother Giraffe giving her newborn the first kiss. This poster is made by Ron D'Raine and it is titled "first kiss".

So our Time Glass prompt is "frist kiss" and here is the image to which I was referring above:
The First Kiss - (c) Ron D'Raine
On the unit where I am working in the hospital we have this poster on the wall ... and it's very comforting for all of us and our patients and their loved ones. It's a sweet poster, a nice scene and I think it will and can inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka within 24 hours.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until February 23th at 7.00 PM (CET) ... just 24 hours to respond. Have fun!

Carpe Diem #673, Rehearsal

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had a great weekend off and I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks to Jen Carpe Diem Haiku Kai could go on and I think she did great. Thank you Jen from the bottom of my heart ... thank you!

I am already busy with our new promplist for March and I hope to publish it this week. I think I have managed to make another nice list, but there will be a few prompts which we are "revisiting", but that has more the do with the main idea of March ... Haiga ... As you maybe know haiga is a special form of poetry in which a haiku is published within a photo, painting or other kind of image. Mostly the image fits the haiku or makes the haiku more transparent ... And I have found a nice haiku-poet (a comtemporary of Shiki) for our CD-Specials.

But ... we have still a few days to go in February and we are still on our journey through impressionism and "my statement that a haiku is an impression". Today I have a wonderful painting for your inspiration by Edgar Degas "Dance Rehearsal in the Studio of the Opera".

Dance Rehearsal in the Studio of the Opera - Edgar Degas
Credits: Dance Rehearsal in the Studio of the Opera
Edgar Degas was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement and prominent artist in the last half of the 19th century. Born to wealthy family, he began his schooling with a baccalaureate in literature in 1853. Due to the wishes of his father, who wanted him to go to law school, he enrolled at the University of Paris in 1853 to pursue a law degree, where he made little effort. Degas, who at age 18 had transformed one of the rooms is his house into a studio, and was a registered copyist at the Louvre by 1853, left law school after two years, and a year later traveled to Italy studying the art of the great masters.
His paintings were exhibited at the Paris Salon beginning in 1865, but they attracted little attention, and his subject matte slowly transitioned from history paintings to more contemporary subjects. In 1870, at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, he enrolled as a member of the National Guard, but his eyesight, which was found defective during rifle training, was troublesome and so he could not serve. Three years later, in 1873, Degas’ father died, revealing a massive amount of business debt held by his brother, Rene. Degas was forced to sell the family home and many family paintings in order to cover the debt, and for the first time, had to rely on the income from his paintings for survival. It was in 1874 that he began producing his most successful works.

I ran through my archive, because I remembered a series of haiku about ballet ... and I found a nice series about ballet and a wonderful acrostic haiku (with liaison) which I love to share here:
she watches him
from behind the curtains
prima ballerina
prima ballerina
dances in the arms of her boyfriend -
just a dream
just a dream
to become happy again and in love
dying lady swan
© Chèvrefeuille
And here is the acrostic with liaison:

A rainy day
Under the umbrella
Tears of Joy
United again by
Music of the Swan lake
Newly weds

© Chèvrefeuille
In this one the theme is "autumn" and the "liaison" is "tutu". Can we call these haiku which I share here impressions? Or shall I try to write/compose new haiku for this episode?

Well ... I just had to write/compose a few new haiku for this episode and here is the result:

ballet dancers
ghostly images covered in smoke
modern swan lake

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Or this one ... more like an "impression" of the scene on the painting:

dark theater
in the dim light of the full moon
end of life dancers

(c) Chèvrefeuille

A wonderful painting and I hope it will inspire you to write an all new haiku (or tanka) ... it was really a joy to prepare this episode for you all and I am looking forward to all of your responses.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 25th at noon (CET). I will publish our next episode, Channel, later on. And of course tonight there will be another episode of our Time Glass feature in which you have to respond on a given prompt (and image) within 24 hours.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Carpe Diem #672, Summertime

Hello everyone – this is Paloma, helping Chèvrefeuille once again. It has been such an honor to help out at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai while he relaxes and enjoys a much-needed and well-deserved weekend with his family.  Once again, let me say THANK YOU, Chèvrefeuille, for the hard work you put into making Carpe Diem a treasure!

For today, Chèvrefeuille has scheduled a look at “Sumer”.  Since we’re exploring Impressionism this month, I thought it would be a good idea to share an impressionist work from a lesser-known artist.   While surfing link-to-link-to-link at Wikipedia I stumbled across Rihard Jakopič

Rihard Jakopič, Wikimedia.

Rihard Jakopič (1869-1943) was a leading Slovene Impressionist painter and also a patron of the arts.  He helped found the Slovene School of Impressionist Drawing and Painting, which later became the Academy of Fine Arts at University of Ljubljana. 

His “Sonce” (Sun) seems perfect for summer.

Sonce, 1905.

Wow!  This is the heart of Impressionism, is it not?   Here are a few haiku that seemed to match the painting.  Or – at least a few impressions of the painting:

it seems to wash
the summer mountains...

© Issa

A summer river being crossed
how pleasing
with sandals in my hands!

© Buson

Here is my impression:

rising sun
paints her shoulders golden –
summer morning –

golden morning
after a night of thunder -
how silent it is

What summer thoughts come to mind when you look at this painting?


This episode is open for your submissions from February 21st at 7 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 24th at noon (CET).   

Carpe Diem Little Creatures #18, Issa's "rice blossoms"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Saturday again and it's time for our bi-weekly feature "little creatures". As you all know (maybe) Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) is THE haiku-master of the little creatures. Issa wrote a lot of haiku about the little creatures like bees, bugs, fireflies and, as we will see in this episode, about dragonflies.

As I was preparing this episode I visited the Haikuguy website were you can find every haiku known and unknown written/composed by Kobayashi Issa. This visit I especially looked at dragonfly haiku. Why? I don't know ... just because I like Issa's dragonfly haiku I think. I think the "dragonfly"-haiku which I have chosen for this episode is one of his most beautiful haiku on dragonflies.

Credits: Rice Blossoms
tombô mo ogamu te tsuki ya ine no hana

the dragonfly too
folds hands in prayer...
rice blossoms

(c) Kobayashi Issa
The "too" (mo) implies that a farmer, perhaps Issa, is the other person in the scene offering a prayer of thanksgiving for the good rice crop, that now has gone to blossom and is ready for harvest. The dragonfly joins in. Issa's poem deserves to be read at face value: this dragonfly really is praying, not just seeming to pray. The fact that its "hands" are rubbing together is, of course, coincidental. But this prayer-like gesture captures Issa's attention and leads him to conclude that the little dragonfly sitting in stillness, perhaps on the blooming tip of a rice plant, is, in fact, praying. If the key prayer in Pure Land Buddhism is one of gratitude for Amida Buddha's saving grace--an experience of trusting in the Other Power of the Beyond while letting go of selfish calculations--then the dragonfly, non-calculating, surrendering to the wind, fully attuned to the present the purest embodiment of prayer. (Source:
Credits: Qian Xuan - Early Autumn
Wow! What a great woodblock print in which we can see lots of little creatures and ofcourse dragonflies (at the right side of the image) ... I think this image fits this Little Creatures feature very well, maybe I am going to use it to create a new logo for our Little Creatures feature, but that's more a thought.

As you all know the goal of this Little Creatures feature is to write/compose an all new haiku inspired on this post and following the classical rules (as you can find in our CD Lecture 1) ... not an easy task I think ... but worth a try.

cherry blossoms bloom
first bees come to gather honey -
cherries in autumn

(c) Chèvrefeuille

What a joyful haiku this is, it has caught the the essence of the task of the bees ... I like this one ... how pretentious (smiles) ... As you all know I am not such a fan of the 5-7-5 syllables structure, but I have succeeded in this one ... and it was a struggle. I love to share a second version of this haiku, but than in (as I call it kanshicho-style):

cherry blossoms
bees gather honey
cherries in fall

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Which one do you like? Without influencing your ideas ... I like that 2nd version the most, because it's more my way of writing haiku.
Credits: Bee on Cherry Blossom
Well ... it's now up to you my dear Haijin to write an all new haiku inspired on this Little Creatures episode. Have fun, be inspired and share.

This episode is open for your submissions today at noon (CET) and it will remain open until next Saturday February 28th at noon (CET).

Friday, February 20, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Machine #4, Yellow

Hello, this is Paloma once again, helping our host Chèvrefeuille today while he enjoys some extra time with his family and friends.  

For this episode of Time Machine we are looking at “Yellow”, which is revisiting November 2012. For that prompt, Chèvrefeuille featured Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Yellow House”.

Vincent Van Gogh. The Yellow House, 1888.

Here are Chevrefeuille's haiku in response to the painting:

the yellow house
a sturdy rock in a man's life -
the cry of a child

the cry of a child
seeing the rainbow for the first time
'I want to cross that'

Very sweet, right? 

For today, Chèvrefeuille mentioned that he was interested in Van Gogh’s yellow bridge, the Langlois Bridge at Arles.  Vincent loved this bridge because it reminded him of both Hiroshige and a bridge in his homeland. 
The Great Bridge.  Hiroshige (L) & Van Gogh (R)

Here is Van Gogh’s Langlois Bridge at Arles with Women Washing (1888):

Vincent Van Gogh.  Langlois Bridge at Arles with Women Washing, 1888. Wikimedia.

Here is my effort at haiku inspired by the painting:

morning washing –
the scent of yellow grass
clinging to my hem 

long into morning -
the scent of mud and green things
baked on yellow stones

Perhaps not my best (!) but I keep thinking about the smell of the mud and the grass.  What sense memories does the painting awaken in you?


This episode is open for your submissions from February 20th at 7 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 23rd at noon (CET).   

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #74, Jackie Le Poidevin's "Bare Branches Touch"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another week has gone and it was a busy week. First I am in the nightshift, second I have decided to be a co-host at Mindlovemisery's Menagerie starting today (Friday 20th) with my first Fairy Tale prompt. And last, but not least, I have created a new part of our Carpe Diem Haiku Family "Carpe Diem's Tanka Shrine".
And ... I am happy that Jen of Blog It Or Lose It will be my co-host for this weekend ... so I can take a weekend off. Feels strange, but it also will bring me more in balance ...

So this Tan Renga Challenge is the last post for me to do for this weekend, I will be back with a new Time Glass episode next Sunday. Of course I am looking forward to Jen's posts here at CDHK and I love to thank her for helping me out ... thanks Jen.

Ok ... back to this week's Tan Renga Challenge. Several episodes of CDHK ago I first read a post by
Jackie Le Poidevin of HaikuBlog UK and I am happy to see that our Haiku Family is growing.

The following haiku  Jackie shared in response on our Haiku Writings Techniques "Comparison".

Bare branches touch
Over the lane where we walk,
Fingers entwined.

© Jackie Le Poidevin

A nice and very romantic scene with a great comparison (bare branches touch/fingers entwined) in it. Really a nice haiku to start our Tan Renga with. The goal is to write the second stanza of two lines (7-7 syllables) to complete or continue the scene started in the haiku (or the first stanza).

Here is my attempt to make this Tan Renga complete:

Bare branches touch
Over the lane where we walk,
Fingers entwined.
                                        (Jackie Le Poidevin)

no empty nest feelings finally
together again
 just the two of us                  (Chèvrefeuille)

And now it's up to you my dear friends to make this Tan Renga complete or continue the scene painted in the first stanza by Jackie.
!! I am behind with commenting I hope to visit all of you a.s.a.p and catch up !!

This episode is open for your submissions Friday February 20th at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Friday February 27th at noon (CET). For now ... have fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #133, Fuyuko Tomita’s “how lonely”

Hello everyone!   This is Paloma, and I am helping Chèvrefeuille this weekend while he enjoys some “R&R” with his family.  While it’s a huge honor to help out – it’s also a bit intimidating.  I feel a bit like the ten-year-old girl who’s been invited to anchor the 6 o’clock news.  [Smiles.] 

So before we get started, let’s send a big *thank you* to Chèvrefeuille for what he does for us on a daily basis. 

For today, we return to our featured poet, Fuyuko Tomita. Here is a wonderful tanka I think we can all relate to:


Sansan to/ sosogu asahi no/fuzukue ni/ nokosu mikan no/ uta zo samishiki

How lonely I would be
left behind on my desk
an unfinished poem
in the glorious morning sun  

(Note that the Japanese version is in five lines – but – as she explained to Chèvrefeuille in a separate post – the English version is slightly different.  She is translating her poem so as to keep the spirit of the original, more so than the structure of the original.)

Lesser Ury. Woman at Writing Desk, 1898. WikiArt

Here’s my response:

at the bird feeder
three cardinals are squabbling –
a love triangle?

the poem that nudges my ribs 
is fading with the laundry


What about you?  Has an unfinished poem haunted you throughout your day?   What thoughts come to mind when you read "how lonely"? 


This episode is open for your submissions from February 19th, 7 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 22nd, at noon (CET).