Friday, April 3, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Machine #7, Ancient Road

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time again for our Time Machine trip back into the history of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. As you all know we have every month a featured haiku poet and those Carpe Diem Specials I started already from the start of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. At the start of our weblog it was called "Carpe Diem", but later it became Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Today I love to take you back to December 2012. In that month our featured haiku poet was Yosa Buson, one of the four greatest haiku-masters (next to Basho, Issa and Shiki) of haiku history. Buson (1716-1783) was also a great Haiga painter and has several wonderful paintings left behind as his heritage.
Credits: Haiga by Yosa Buson
He was also the illustrator of the first edition of Basho's "Oku no Hosomichi" (The Small Road Into The Deep North) here after I have a part of that illustrated edition imaged.
Credits: First illustrated edition of Basho's "Oku No Hosomichi" by Buson.
And of course there was Buson the haiku poet who has written/composed wonderful haiku. His haiku are strong and great ... you even can see that the haiku are written by a painter ... Buson's haiku are little paintings with words. Here is (again) the haiku from that episode to which this Time Machine episode is referring.

furumichito kikeba yukashiki yukino shita

"An ancient road," they say
How charming
Though beneath this snow.

© Yosa Buson (1782)

As you can see at the year ... the possibility that this haiku was one of his last haiku written is very sure.

What is the idea behind this haiku? Let us look at it closer and maybe we can determine Buson's thoughts ... a challenging idea ...

"an ancient road", they say" ... which ancient road is meant here? It's possible the road between Edo and the new capital. Than the idea turns towards the virgin snow, and than the "ancient road" becomes in an eye blink a "new road", Buson is charmed by the beauty of the fresh snow.
Of course I wasn't there, but this could be a possible explanation of the haiku.
Logo Special feature "Carpe Diem's Oku no Hosomichi (September 2013)
Ok ... as you all know we will go on the trail with Matsuo Basho next month and in our rich history I also have had a special feature about the "Oku no Hosomichi" (see above logo) in that special feature we followed Basho's journey and as is the "theme" of this Time Machine episode "ancient road" I have a nice haiku which I composed for the start of that above mentioned special feature to share here with you again:

following his trail
on a journey through the world
to find ourselves

© Chèvrefeuille
And there were more haiku inspired on this "ancient road" and here are a few to inspire you ...
on a journey
seeking for ancient knowledge
deep inside myself

© Chèvrefeuille

seeking the path
walking the 'Narrow Road'
in deep silence

© Chèvrefeuille
I think this has become a wonderful Time Machine episode and it has made me even more grateful ... because I once initiated this weblog and dreamed that it would become a success ... and ... now look Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is still here and it has become a great, loving family of haiku poets. Thank you all ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 6th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, depression, later on.


  1. Lovely set of haiku. Am drawn to the one about seeking acient knowledge.

  2. What a marvellous illustrated version of Basho's work! I hadn't seen this before, so thanks for sharing it, Chèvrefeuille.