Sunday, November 12, 2017

Carpe Diem #1303 Seed of Wisdom

!! Sorry for being this late with publishing !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful daily meme here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, the place to be if you like to write and share Japanese poetry. A warmhearted family of lovers of Japanese poetry.
We are busy with the exploration of Omar Khayyam's "The Rubaiyat" and until today I think it is a joy to read your responses on all these beautiful quatrains.

Our episode's title "seed of wisdom" is extracted from the 28th quatrain from "The Rubaiyat" and I love to tell you a little bit more about the "seed of wisdom". On several occasions I was adressed as "sensei" or "master", but in my opinion that's to much honor. I am only a guy who loves to share a little bit of his knowledge about haiku, tanka and other Japanese poetry forms. Of course there was once a seed planted, I think in my case, that was somewhere in the late eighties as I discovered haiku. I was immediately caught by this wonderful tiny poem from the Far East. I studied several books about this poetry form and as I started CDHK in 2012 I was a connaisseur of haiku and later on I also became addicted to Tanka and studied that form too. And than ... there is of course my own philosophy in which "unconditional love for all and everything" is the most important idea. That "seed of wisdom" was planted back in the time I was a teenager, in that time I ran into the occult and was caught by it. It made me sick and it took a while to become free again, but in that time I found the reason of my life here on earth, I found the wisdom I needed ... I even gave word to it in one of the novels I have written ... the "seed of wisdom" has bloomed and still blossoms further ...

Seed Of Wisdom
Here is the quatrain to work with. I will of  course give you also a little bit background on this quatrain.

With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with mine own hand wrought to make it grow;
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd--
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)


The development of the Poet’s philosophical studies are likened to a crop – seed, growth, harvest – and yet the end result is the realisation of the utter transience of earthly life, and the pointlessness of philosophising: “I came like Water, and like Wind I go”. Compare the reference to the Wind in John 3.8 (“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth…”); also the epitaph on the tomb of the poet John Keats in Rome: “Here lies one whose name was writ in water.”

Much less well known than the epitaph of Keats is the following verse by John Masefield, typewritten on a piece of paper addressed to his "Heirs, Administrators and Assigns", and found only after his death in 1967. Curiously, it asks that Water and Wind be allowed to disperse his ashes after cremation:

Let no religious rite be done or read
In any place for me when I am dead,
But burn my body into ash, and scatter
The ash in secret into running water,
Or on the windy down, and let none see;
And then thank God that there's an end of me.

Westminster Abbey London England

He didn't get his wish, of course - as Poet Laureate he was doomed to have his ashes interred in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey, amidst traditional pomp and ceremony. Also ignored were his wishes regarding publication of his life and letters, as expressed in a short poem entitled "Sweet Friends", which poem became the last in the edition of the Collected Poems of John Masefield, first published by Heinemann in 1923:

Print not my life nor letters; put them by:
When I am dead let memory of me die.
Blessed be those who in their mercy heed
This heartfelt prayer of mine to Adam's Seed;
Blessed be they, but may a curse pursue
All who reject this living prayer, and do.

I like to explore the background of these quatrains by Omar Khayyam, but of course I have my sources to share this background with you all.

sunflowers bloom
seed of wisdom spread out
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille

Sorry for being late. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 19th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. I am on the nightshift so I hope to be on time tomorrow.

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