Saturday, May 30, 2015

Carpe Diem #746 to hear the wild goose

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we are at the end of our "on the trail with Basho" month in which we followed in the footsteps of Basho while on his journeys through his beloved Japan. I think we have had a wonderful month with beautiful haiku by (my haiku sensei) Matsuo Basho. I hope you have enjoyed this month and that you have become closer to Basho and maybe "in love" with his way of haiku writing, as I am.

The haiku of today Basho wrote in autumn 1690. After his journey to the "deep north", he stayed at Dosu's cottage, Genju ("abode of illusion"), which was just behind Ishiyama-dera ("stone mountain temple") on Kokubuyama hill. The capital in the haiku refers to Kyoto rather than Tokyo. Some books classify this haiku as an "unconfirmed" poem by Basho.
Basho wrote almost 1020 haiku during his lifetime and there are several sources who say that a part of Basho's oeuvre is "unconfirmed". The truth will stay in the middle I think, but Jane Reichhold, who was so kind to give me permission to use her haiku, is in my opinion the one who knows the most, say ... she is the specialist according to Matsuo Basho.

kari kiki ni miyako no aki ni omomuka n

to hear the wild goose
is my reason to go
to the capital in autumn

(c) Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
Credits: Wild Goose woodblock by Hokusai (1760-1849)
A beauty to end this month with. We are on our way to summer, but in everything around us we already can sense autumn .... the everlasting circle of life ...

at sunrise
the song of birds awaken me
after a cool night

(c) Chèvrefeuille

A nice one to conclude this month of "on the trail with Basho" I think .... Next month our prompts will be all modern kigo (seasonwords) for summer based on Jane Reichhold's "a dictionary of haiku". You can find the prompt-list for June 2015 above in the menu.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, arrival of summer, later on. For now ... have fun!


  1. It's been a brilliant journey that you led us on, through the life and times of Matsuo Basho. Thank you so very much for the pleasure it has given me in a difficult personal time. I have indeed come to love his work and will continue to pursue the poetry and the diary he has left us.

  2. Thanks Chev, for a great month.

  3. Thank you Chevrefeuille -- you put so much into this month! Really, you've offered a wealth of information and several new techniques / perspectives -- and I'll keep this all in mind as we approach summer. Namaste ---

  4. A wonderful month with your mentor Chèvrefeuille, I enjoyed it very very much! Bastet

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  6. It couldn't have been a better journey. Thanks!

  7. thanks, Chev :) really appreciate it x