Friday, March 20, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Machine #6: Skylark

Greetings once again, Haijin!  This is Paloma from Blog It or Lose it, helping Chèvrefeuille during his weekend break. 

Today’s prompt is “skylark” – and at first I had no idea what to do for this prompt.  The skylark has figured prominently at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – featured many, many times.   Then I read the following haiku from Chèvrefeuille:

mezzo-soprano sings
a love song by Chopin -
cry of a Skylark   

in touch with the gods
pine trees reaching for heaven -
skylarks sing their song

These haiku reminded me that the skylark is a staple of Western poetic tradition as well as Eastern tradition.  Percy Bysshe Shelly wrote "To a Skylark"; Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote to "The Caged Skylark", and – William Wordsworth wrote his own version of  "To a Skylark". 

So – I hope Chèvrefeuille will be okay with this – why don’t we look at the Wordsworth version for inspiration today?

Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

And for more inspiration – here is a recording of a skylark’s song!

What images in the Wordsworth poem strike your fancy?  You’ll find joy, sensuality, freedom, and centeredness.  

Or – would you like to try a senryu or a kyoka – and be an “anti-Wordsworth”?

I have no skylark photos, sadly, so please forgive my use of a Wikimedia image.  Here's my attempt:

This challenge is open to your entries from March 20th at 7 PM through March 24th at noon (CET).


  1. Lovely varied post, Jen. Very enjoyable indeed. Larks are so difficult to spot. But their song is to die for.

  2. Like your reference to Wordsworth and KP's reference to Chopin in his lovely ku. Now....what to write for this interesting prompt.:)

  3. I enjoy very much the way you present your posts Jen, it complements Chevrefeuille. Chevrefeuille's haiku made me see something completely new about haiku folks! PS - I find my experience as a reader is dampened when the haiku is repeated again after the image as well as in the image. I wonder why that is done.

    1. Dear Hamish,

      I think this is more a kind of gesture to the reader, because in a haiga sometimes the haiku isn't clear enough to be read. That's why the haiku is reproduced again beneath the haiga ... I am aware that such repeating isn't always the correct way to expose the haiga/haiku.
      I know I do that myself too, so I apologize for that making you dampened.

    2. Hello Hamish --

      Yes, you've brought up a real dilemma - what to do, what to do? On some readers - like my mobile - images don't appear at all. So if I publish just the haiga - sans text - then the reader has no idea what was going on. So perhaps in future I'll compromise - and add the haiku to the very end of the post - after all the explanatory notes. So - thanks for bringing it up - I find it annoying in my own posts but haven't found a really good solution to the problem, sadly.

  4. This is a delightful inspiring post and I agree a great compliment with Chèvrfuilles ... as for repeating the haiku below the haiga ... I agree with Kristjaan ... this is a more a courtesy to the reader as sometimes it's difficult read the haiku ... as in my offering tody :-)