Monday, March 27, 2017

Carpe Diem #1180 departure

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Recently I read a wonderful weblog on spiritual growth and I hope that is a little bit the task of CDHK too. Maybe you are familiar with the idea of spiritual growth and if not .... well no problem at all. We are now living in what is called "the time of Aquarius" this is the time in which (according to astrology) humankind is ascending to another state of spiritual life. This is the time of spiritual growth. As we look around us than we can see that in so many things. For example we can see this in nature, global warming, makes us aware that we have to do something, we have to care for nature. Without nature we as humans cannot live. We need nature, not just for our food, but also for our spiritual health and physical health. Nature ... the major theme for us as haiku and tanka poets. We are the keepers of nature or as I stated earlier this month we are the keepers of Earth. We need her ...

This month I choose for the beauty of Persian poetry and themed this month "praise to the emptiness" and I think that theme was in almost all the poems we have read this month.  What is "emptiness"? Well it's one of the pillars of Zen Buddhism and for haiku (and tanka). Every haiku (or tanka) needs that emptiness, not only in its words, but also in its lay-out. In one of my first haiku anthologies I published (back in 1998) I had only one haiku a page ... That emptiness places the haiku at the most important spot ... in the center.

Today I have a wonderful poem by Rumi. This poem titled "departure" is extracted from 'Persian Poems', an Anthology of verse translations edited by A.J.Arberry, Everyman's Library, 1972 and translated by R.A. Nicholson. As I read this poem I saw dervishes swirl and maybe that makes this poem that awesome. Dervishes swirl, a Sufi way of meditating, to make contact with the Higher Power, with God or Allah or what ever name you will give it.

As I wrote earlier in this post emptiness is very important, but of course there is also need for a nice post to read I think, so I didn't choose for a lay-out with emptiness, but maybe you can use that idea of emptiness in the lay out for your response.


Up, O ye lovers, and away! 'Tis time to leave the world for aye.
Hark, loud and clear from heaven the form of parting calls-let none delay!
The cameleer hat risen amain, made ready all the camel-train,
And quittance now desires to gain: why sleep ye, travellers, I pray?
Behind us and before there swells the din of parting and of bells;
To shoreless space each moment sails a disembodied spirit away.
From yonder starry lights, and through those curtain-awnings darkly blue,
Mysterious figures float in view, all strange and secret things display.
From this orb, wheeling round its pole, a wondrous slumber o'er thee stole:
O weary life that weighest naught, O sleep that on my soul dost weigh!
O heart, toward they heart's love wend, and O friend, fly toward the Friend,
Be wakeful, watchman, to the end: drowse seemingly no watchman may.

© Rumi (Tr. R. A. Nicholson)

What can this poem mean? Reading it and re-reading it It brings me the idea of leaving this world, or in other words ... death. Is this what is meant here? I think it is, but maybe it is also a way of telling that you have to leave your common path and take another route ... or even more in other words ... it is time for changing your path ... to grow spiritual.

Departure (Image found on Pinterest)

Here at CDHK we have had "departure" earlier as prompt. As I was preparing this post I ran into the history of CDHK and found a few nice posts about "departure".

farewell verse
as I depart from the train station -
forget me not

© Chèvrefeuille 

Or what do you think of this haiku by Basho which he wrote at the beginning of "Narrow Road", his most famous haibun?

the passing spring
birds mourn, fishes weep
with tearful eyes

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Or this one by myself which I wrote (and published) earlier this month:

reborn again
leaving all behind
first spring day

© Chèvrefeuille

Departure ... is something we see very often in our daily life, not only real departure, but also spiritual departure (as it is meant in the poem by Rumi). Departure is part of our lives. Its included in our life.

autumn departure (Japan)

Maybe this tanka fits the poem by Rumi more than I first thought, so let's give it a try as a response on this poem by Rumi:

autumn departs
in deep silence willow leaves fall -
tears on this grave
as the willow is green again
another year has gone

© Chèvrefeuille

Departure ... it's part of our life ... 

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, broken heart, later on. For now ... have fun!

1 comment:

  1. I agree. It is a very hard poem to understand. I like your interpretation and haiku.