Friday, September 4, 2015

Carpe Diem #812 Capricornus (Sea Goat)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During circumstances I will not publish an episode of "On The Trail With Basho Encore", but here is our regular prompt for today, Capricornus (Sea Goat), a constellation which is part of our Zodiac and back in our CDHK-history (April 2013) we have had a prompt on Capricornus the sign of the Zodiac. You can find that post HERE.

This was my attempt than to write a haiku inspired on Capricornus:

the Sea Goat pointing the way
to Aquarius

© Chèvrefeuille

And here are a few examples of the responses on that episode back in 2013, a few of them you maybe know, because they are still part of CDHK.

Awash in the primeval deep
No scapegoat in love

Old sea goat
Butting heads with the ram
Cosmic clash

still milking
in my summer dreams

© Mark M. Redfearn

Path clearly outlined
Sea goat pushes through current
Small fish, part; steer clear

© Sara McNulty

Capricornus (sea goat)
Ok ... that was a short trip through memory lane and I must say it was really a joy to read that post again and what a joy to see that there are still participants of that prompt who are still here at CDHK right now. I only can say to them "Thank You for being here after such a long time".

Here is a little background about this constellation:
Capricornus is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. Under its modern boundaries it is bordered by Aquila, Sagittarius, Microscopium, Piscis Austrinus, and Aquarius. The constellation is located in an area of sky called the Sea or the Water, consisting of many water-related constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus. It is the smallest constellation in the zodiac.

Despite its faintness, Capricornus has one of the oldest mythological associations, having been consistently represented as a hybrid of a goat and a fish since the Middle Bronze Age. First attested in depictions on a cylinder-seal from around the 21st century BC, it was explicitly recorded in the Babylonian star catalogues as MULSUḪUR.MAŠ "The Goat-Fish" before 1000 BC. The constellation was a symbol of the god Ea and in the Early Bronze Age marked the winter solstice.
Due to the precession of the equinoxes the December solstice no longer takes place while the sun is in the constellation Capricornus, as it did until 130 BCE, but the astrological sign called Capricorn begins with the solstice. The solstice now takes place when the Sun is in Sagittarius. The sun's most southerly position, which is attained at the northern hemisphere's winter solstice, is now called the Tropic of Capricorn, a term which also applies to the line on the Earth at which the sun is directly overhead at noon on that solstice. The Sun is now in Capricorn from late January through mid-February.

Credits: The Horn of Plenty on a painting by Rubens

In Greek mythology, the constellation is sometimes identified as Amalthea, the goat that suckled the infant Zeus after his mother, Rhea, saved him from being devoured by his father, Cronos. The goat's broken horn was transformed into the cornucopia or horn of plenty. Capricornus is also sometimes identified as Pan, the god with a goat's head, who saved himself from the monster Typhon by giving himself a fish's tail and diving into a river.

What a story and what a joy to look back for a while in our rich CDHK history. I hope this episode will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka.

broken horn
pours richness into the world -
not to the gods

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... I don't know if this is a great one? It's clear that it points to the inequitable distribution of wealth around the globe ... and that was the first thing which came in mind as I prepared this episode.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 7th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, a new CD-Special, but I haven't yet chosen a featured haiku poet, later on.


  1. Using haiku for social commentary or protest like you did is a great thing I think. I find the use of deliberate symbolism sometimes confusing in haiku, but when the message is clear and important it is a delight. Great thought in your haiku there.