Sunday, June 19, 2016

Carpe Diem #980 Ireland

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you could have read yesterday (or early this morning) I had a major PC crash, so I couldn't publish on yesterday. So today I will give you two (regular) episodes. The new episode of our special feature Utabukuro will not be published.

First we will go on with our Europe Ginko Today we visit Ireland, a member of the EU since 1973. Ireland extends over an area of about fivesixths (70,273 km2 or 27,133 sq mi) of the island of Ireland(84,421 km2 or 32,595 sq mi), with Northern Ireland constituting the remainder. The island is
bounded to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the northeast by the North Channel. To
the east, the Irish Sea connects to the Atlantic Ocean via St George's Channel and the Celtic Sea to
the southwest.

The western landscape mostly consists of rugged cliffs, hills and mountains. The central lowlands areextensively covered with glacial deposits of clay and sand, as well as significant areas of bogland andseveral lakes. The highest point is Carrauntoohil (1,038 m or 3,406 ft), located in the
Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range in the southwest. The River Shannon, which traverses the
central lowlands, is the longest river in Ireland at 386 kilometres or 240 miles in length. The west
coast is more rugged than the east, with numerous islands, peninsulas, headlands and bays.

Flag of Ireland
Before the arrival of the first settlers in Ireland about 9,000 years ago, the land was largely covered 
by forests of oak, ash, elm, hazel, yew, and other native trees. The growth of blanket bog and the
extensive clearing of woodland to facilitate farming are believed to be the main causes of
deforestation during the following centuries. Today, about 12% of Ireland is forested, of which a
significant majority is composed of mainly nonnative coniferous plantations for commercial use. Ideal soil conditions, high rainfall and a mild climate give Ireland the highest growth rates for forests in
Europe. Hedgerows, which are traditionally used to define land boundaries, are an important
substitute for woodland habitat, providing refuge for native wild flora and a wide range of insect,
bird and mammal species.

As said above, Ireland is a very green country and its nature is really wonderful. I love to share a few images of the beauty of Ireland here and of course I will try to create haiku towards the images too.

Ireland (countryside)
high above the waters
a bird's nest destroyed -
a rough sea

© Chèvrefeuille

Ireland is a very spiritual and mystical country. I think you all know Stonehenge ... in Ireland you can find similar stone circles ... one of them, Drombeg Stone Circle, County Cork, is such a stone circle. As excavations prove it was certainly used for religious ideas. It is proven that the stones are aligned on the Winter Solstice.

Drombeg Stone Circle, County Cork, Ireland
hidden in the mist
circle of megalithic stones
winter solstice
© Chèvrefeuille
Ireland ... a wonderful country rooted in the Celtic Culture, but also the country with the wonderful landscapes. You can see long distance and the green beauty, which the Irish are very proud on. 
Ireland amazing landscape green nature.
greener than green
 I look, as far as I can see,
greener than green

© Chèvrefeuille
Awesome country. Will there be haiku poets in this beautiful and green country of the Irish?
The first Irish poet to write haiku as we know them was Juanita Casey. A traveling woman born in
England of Irish parents. She started composing haiku in late 1960s, and a few of them appeared in
her 1968 collection titled Horse by the River (1968), followed by a few more that found their way to her 1985 collection, Eternity Smith. Just one example: 
The pickers
have left one plum...
hey, wind
Patrick Kavanagh wrote, around 1969-1970, single  haiku,  evidently  not  even  suspecting  that  it was a haiku – and a worthy one ! This piece appeared in The Lace Curtain magazine in 1971. We restore here the original version of 
the poem that was slightly altered in the magazine, so the first line became the title.
a cry in the wilderness
of meadow
Seamus Heaney also tried his hand at haiku writing. The following piece, in a slightly different
version, appeared in his 1991 collection titled Seeing Things:
Dangerous pavements…
But this year I face the ice
with my father’s stick
In 1985, Michael Hartnett published his collection titled Inchicore Haiku. It comprised 87 haiku and senryu written according to the 5-7-5 format, and was the first collection of haiku and senryu by an Irish poet, so Hartnett can be regarded as a trailblazer. The poet Mark Lonergan in his essay that
appeared in Shamrock No 15 asserted that “Inchicore Haiku can’t serve as a model for a modern-day haiku writer. Only one of these poems passes the time’s test and stands up as a perfect haiku, if a 5-7-5 English-language haiku can be perfect.” He clearly refers to the following piece:

In a green spring field
a brown pony stands asleep
shod with daffodils


In 2006 the Irish Haiku Society was founded. Here are a few other examples of Irish haiku:

maidin ghlas -
lilí ina chéile
go tláith

chilly morning -
lilies gently
in each other

© Gabriel Rosenstock (an Irish haiku poet who writes mostly in Irish)

miotas is ea an t-am -
sa loch

time is a myth -
a mountain
in a lake
© Gabriel Rosenstock

Well ... I hope you did like this episode about Ireland and that I have inspired you all.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 24th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode immediately hereafter, that will be our third CD Special of this month by Joyce Lorenson.


  1. Carpe Diem European Ginko # 980 Ireland:

    moon spattered
    turrets of Kilkenny Castle
    an owl's call echoing

  2. Computer shop missed linking up. Here is my Ireland poem