Saturday, October 29, 2016

Carpe Diem #1081 Feather pen (or Quill pen)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the penultimate episode of our 4th anniversary month in which we celebrated Carpe Diem Haiku Kai as a warmhearted family of haiku poets and haiku poetesses. This month we had several guests to inspire you and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to use the beautiful photos of Paul Militaru, the beautiful haiku and tanka by Kala ramesh and the beautiful haiku by Herman van Rompuy. And of course there was the presence of Jane Reichhold in that new special feature "Universal Jane". And last but not least I tried to inspire you through tools for art and creativity. Today we have our last regular prompt of this festive month and it has to do with our art ... writing ... today's prompt is feather pen or quill pen.

Ages ago there was no PC, tablet of smartphone to write your notes or haiku on, they had only a sharp pin and clay or later the use of ink and feather came in vogue. In the Middle Ages the most people couldn't write or read. In our regions the monks were one of the only groups who could write and they did that with a great precision ... they copied books with only the use of ink and a feather. A lot of work and of course very tough to do ... but they did a great job. Look at the beneath image, look at the beauty of that "monkish work":

"Monkish Work"
Isn't it awesome? Look at the beauty. It's a shame that "Monkish Work" was seen as "useless work", but ... what to say ... it's in a way true, because why did monks copy books in this way? And for whom?

What can I say about this placed in Japan? I think the "Monkish Work" we can compare with the work of the Japanese monks in for example their Zen Garden or with Bonsai or with that beautiful calligraphy ... also "useless", but extraordinary I would say.

What has this to do with our prompt for today? Well ... it takes time, a lot of time, to write with a "feather pen" or "quill pen". I think we can easily compare this with the fountain pen used for calligraphy. Many years ago I had another beautiful hobby next to writing haiku ... I calligraphed my haiku into watercolor paintings ... in one of my first haiku anthologies, written by hand at the end of the last century, I had calligraphed all the used haiku, of course I brought them to be printed ... I hadn't the urge to copy all the copies by hand ... no "Monkish Work" for me.

Quill Pen
back in time again I write
with a quill pen

screeching paper
the poet writes his poems

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope I have inspired you with this post.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 3rd at noon (CET). I will post our last episode of our 4th anniversary month, the last CD Special by Kala Ramesh, later on. For now .... have fun!

By the way: I have published our new prompt-list for November 2016 in which we will dive into the matter of Tanka through the "Ten Tanka Writing Techniques" by Teika (1162-1241). You can find our new prompt-list above in the menu or by clicking HERE.


  1. This is a great prompt, Kristjaan, but I am currently off the radar as I found out on Friday that my children's novel has been longlisted in the Mslexia Children's Novel Competition and I have to print out the full manuscript and send it with a synopsis. I have some tidying up to do, so I will be limiting my poetry activities for a couple of weeks.
    I'll drop by to keep up with what everyone is writing!
    Best wishes,

  2. Carpe Diem #1081 Feather Pen:

    crow feather
    bleeding black ink
    quill pen script