Monday, June 4, 2018

Carpe Diem #1446 mandarin orange blossoms (hana tachibana)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. CDHK is the place to be if you like to write and share haiku, tanka or other form of Japanese poetry. This month we are exploring the classical kigo or seasonwords, for summer. For today's prompt I have chosen to use mandarin orange blossoms (hana tachibana), but before giving you some background on this prompt I love to tell you a little bit more about the use of kigo in (especially) haiku.

As you all know every haiku needs a time-frame and that time-frame is set by the use of kigo or seasonwords. Kigo are words that point to the season in which the haiku is written. For example (by the way not a well chosen example) tulips. If you use tulips in your haiku than you say that the haiku is written in spring, because tulips are spring flowers as are e.g. daffodils. Through using kigo in your haiku the reader knows in which season you had this experience you describe in your haiku. Let me give you an example of a spring haiku in which I use tulips:

reach for the sun -
tulips burst through the earth 
colorful rainbow

© Chèvrefeuille

If you read this haiku you immediately know that this is a spring haiku.

The Japanese haiku poets compiled a large collection of kigo in what is called a Saijiki. In a Saijiki they selected all kigo for every season and brought them together. In every Saijiki you can find the same way of selecting the kigo for the seasons.

As you (maybe) know the classical Japanese haiku poets used five seasons, New Year, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. In every Saijiki you will find those seasons. In every part of the Saijiki (every season) you also will find several subdivisions, those subdivisions are: The season, The heavens, The Earth, Humanity, Observances, Animals and Plants. In those subdivisions you also see sometimes that the kigo are subdivided in Early season, Mid season and Late season. By creating the Saijiki in this way the haiku poets could find easily which kigo they had to use.

Mandarin Orange Blossoms (image found on Pinterest)
Our prompt for today Mandarin Orange Blossoms is a classical kigo for summer especially for mid-summer and it is taken from the subdivision "plants".

Mandarin orange blossom is the blossoming of the mandarin orange tree. The blooming of the mandarin orange features small white flowers with five petals. The flowers have about 1.5 cm in diameter and they typically grow in a group of two or three flowers in a stalk, where the leaf meets the twig.
Mandarin Orange Blossoms are considered a harbinger of good luck, health, and fertility, it is popular at weddings and celebrations. Over the years, the orange blossom has been adopted a sign for eternal love.

As you all know this month I will tell you a lot about the classical kigo for summer on the Northern Hemisphere and to give our participants on the Southern Hemisphere also their nowadays seasonal words I also give a winter kigo. Today that winter kigo is spearflower (manryoo), it's a winter kigo that is stated as an all winter kigo and it is also taken from the subdivision "plants".

Spearflower Haiga by Shiki

Every episode I try to create my own haiku with the given classical kigo. I live on the Northern Hemisphere, but today I have chosen to create a haiku with the winter kigo I gave above for the Southern Hemisphere, spearflower (manryoo).

Let me give you also a haiku by Yozakura, the Unknown Haiku Poet, in which he uses "spearflower":

spearflower berries
tempting the sparrows with their color -
graveyard in the mist

© Yozakura (1640-1716)

And here is one I created myself:

spearflower berries
sparrows picking them from the snow
in my backyard

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... it has become a long episode this time, but I hope you will forgive me for that. Now it is up to you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form with this classical kigo. Of course, but not necessary, I hope you will create a haiku or tanka following the classical rules as you can find above in the menu at CD's Lecture One.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 11th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. (By the way ... I hope to publish our promptlist for June 2018 this week).

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