Monday, May 11, 2015

Carpe Diem #728, summer robe

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

To all the mothers (a belated) "Happy Mothers Day". I hope you all had a wonderful day. Here in The Netherlands we had a warm and sunny Mothers Day and all our children and grandchildren came to celebrate it with their mother and grandmother. Really a great day.
Next weekend, May 15th until May 17th, I will take a weekend off and as all goes according my idea than Georgia (also know as Bastet) will be your host that weekend. I have emailed her and I am waiting for her answer, but I know that she would like to be our co-host for a weekend.

Than the following: Our second Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Kukai has started and will be closing June 15th. This Kukai the theme is "summertime" and if you would like to participate in it than you can email your submissions, a maximum of three (new and never published earlier) haiku to our email-address:

Please write "CDHK Kukai Summertime" in the subject line.

Next month, June 2015, I have chosen to use all modern summer kigo as garthered by Jane Reichhold in her "Dictionary of Haiku" and of course Rallentanda, our winner of the first CDHK Kukai, will be our featured haiku poetess. I am looking forward to June. I hope to publish our new prompt-list this week.

Summer kimono, Yukata (cotton)

Ok ... back to our daily prompt for today. We are on the trail with Basho and today our prompt is "summer robe". This haiku is the last haiku in his "Weather beaten Diary". Basho wrote this haiku in the summer of 1685. "Weather beaten Diary" contained 45 single verses, but approximately 65 poems are accredited to this time period. There are authorities (in haiku-world) who consider this poem "summer robe" a metaphor for Basho's revisions of poems and travel notes rather than evidence that he had picked up lice on his journey.

With this haiku came a short preface which I will (also) reproduce here:

At the end of the Fourth Month, I returned to my cottage, and while I rest from the weariness of the journey ... (I wrote):

summer robe
I've not yet finished
removing the lice

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

As I look at this haiku and read it a few times aloud than I consider this poem a metaphor for Basho's revisions of poems and travel notes, but ... at the other hand ... maybe he was busy with removing the lice as he was writing this haiku ... no one knows it for sure I think. Both ideas could be true.

In ancient Japan it was a common use to chance clothes with the coming and going of the seasons. So in this haiku Basho refers to that "changing of clothes" and as I look at the time-frame "the Fourth Month" ... I think he wrote this haiku as a kind of farewell verse for spring and welcoming summer, but that's just my idea.

silken kimono
the coolness of the shadow
hot summer day

© Chèvrefeuille

Not as strong as I had hoped, but I just had to catch the coolness of silk in my haiku. Here is another one, from my archives:

kimono slipping
fingertips discover silk road
ecstatic sigh

© Chèvrefeuille

It was a joy to create this episode and I hope it will inspire you all ....

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 14th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, growing melons, later on. For now .... have fun!


  1. When I think of kimono and silk such sensual images come to mind,and your haiku espcially the last one depicts that so beautifully!

  2. Wonderful.. I love the thought of what the clothes symbolizes in terms of season changes.

  3. I think your haiku are strong enough. Don't forget Basho had a headstart in catching our attention with his introduction of lice . Even the clothes' moth isn't up to that kind of competition :-)

  4. Hello Chèvrefeuille ... I can't wait to help out next wekend. I'll be sending you an e-mail as soon as I get home to work out the details. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity!