Friday, August 31, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #48 Tagore's Gitanjali

New Logo Weekend Meditation Autumn 2018

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday September 2nd at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation of September 2018. Meteorological autumn starts this weekend on September 1st, so I have created a new logo for our CD Weekend Meditation. The above image shows you the beauty of colorful autumn leaves and those colors are to me what makes autumn my favorite season, maybe it's that unconscious connection with Basho, because he loved autumn dearly not only for it's colors, but also for the beauty of the moon and the deeper meaning of "letting go" and departure.

Let me first tell you what September is bringing us this year. Maybe you can remember that I asked you to choose between a whole month about Rabindranath Tagore or a whole month of Tan Renga Challenges. I understand that you all had some difficulties with this choice, so I have decided (as Xenia proposed) to bring both themes into this month. This month we will have all Tan Renga Challenges as our regular episodes, but the weekend meditations will be all wonderful poems by Rabindranath Tagore. Starting today with his world famous Gitanjali poem(s).

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

The weekend meditations will be all "distillations". I will give you a poem by Tagore and I challenge you to create haiku or tanka from it or bring the "long poem" back to its essential meaning and write a haiku (or tanka) about it.

The Logo I Used For This Special Feature Here At CDHK
Let me first tell you a little bit more about Rabindranath Tagore.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), was a Bengali poet, short-story writer, song composer, playwright, essayist, and painter who introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of early 20th-century India. In 1913 he became the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

One of his most famous works is Gītāñjali, a collection of poetry. It was published in India in 1910. Tagore then translated it into prose poems in English, as Gitanjali: Song Offerings, and it was published in 1912 with an introduction by William Butler Yeats.

Medieval Indian lyrics of devotion provided Tagore’s model for the poems of Gītāñjali. He also composed music for these lyrics. Love is the principal subject, although some poems detail the internal conflict between spiritual longings and earthly desires. Much of his imagery is drawn from nature, and the dominant mood is minor-key and muted. The collection helped win the Nobel Prize for Literature for Tagore in 1913, but some later critics did not agree that it represents Tagore’s finest work.

Gitanjali, song offerings (cover)
Gitanjali, Song Offerings ... it sounds amazing, but can you bring it back to its essential meaning? Can you bring the following poem back to its essential and create a haiku (or tanka) with it? Well that's the goal for this weekend meditation ...

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.
I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, 
and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds
leaving my track on many a star and planet.
It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself,
and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.
The traveller has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, 
and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach 
the innermost shrine at the end.
My eyes strayed far and wide before 
I shut them and said `Here art thou!'
The question and the cry `Oh, where?' melt into tears of a thousand streams 
and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance `I am!'

© Rabindranath Tagore (taken from "Gitanjali")

A nice task for this weekend I think ... so have fun, be inspired and enjoy your weekend.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday September 2nd at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until September 9th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our first regular episode around that time too.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Carpe Diem #1509 Back to were we started ... Italy

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We started our journey around the world on a quest for folkmusic in Italy and to make the circle complete (or closed) like a renga we will end our journey in Italy.

Italian folk music has a deep and complex history. Because national unification came late to the Italian peninsula, the traditional music of its many hundreds of cultures exhibit no homogeneous national character. Rather, each region and community possesses a unique musical tradition that reflects the history, language, and ethnic composition of that particular locale. These traditions reflect Italy's geographic position in southern Europe and in the centre of the Mediterranean; Celtic, Roma, and Slavic influences, as well as rough geography and the historic dominance of small city states, have all combined to allow diverse musical styles to coexist in close proximity.

Italian folk styles are very diverse, and include monophonic, polyphonic, and responsorial song, choral, instrumental and vocal music, and other styles. Choral singing and polyphonic song forms are primarily found in northern Italy, while south of Naples, solo singing is more common, and groups usually use unison singing in two or three parts carried by a single performer. Northern ballad-singing is syllabic, with a strict tempo and intelligible lyrics, while southern styles use a rubato tempo, and a strained, tense vocal style. Folk musicians use the dialect of their own regional tradition; this rejection of the standard Italian language in folk song is nearly universal. There is little perception of a common Italian folk tradition, and the country's folk music never became a national symbol.

Carnival of Venice

Italian folk songs include ballads, lyrical songs, lullabies and children's songs, seasonal songs based around holidays such as Christmas, life-cycle songs that celebrate weddings, baptisms and other important events, dance songs, cattle calls and occupational songs, tied to professions such as fishermen, shepherds and soldiers. Ballads (canti epico-lirici) and lyric songs (canti lirico-monostrofici) are two important categories. Ballads are most common in northern Italy, while lyric songs prevail further south. Ballads are closely tied to the English form, with some British ballads existing in exact correspondence with an Italian song. Other Italian ballads are more closely based on French models. Lyric songs are a diverse category that consist of lullabies, serenades and work songs, and are frequently improvised though based on a traditional repertoire.

Other Italian folk song traditions are less common than ballads and lyric songs. Strophic, religious laude, sometimes in Latin, are still occasionally performed, and epic songs are also known, especially those of the maggio celebration. Professional female singers perform dirges similar in style to those elsewhere in Europe. Yodeling exists in northern Italy, though it is most commonly associated with the folk musics of other Alpine nations. The Italian Carnival is associated with several song types, especially the Carnival of Bagolino, Brescia. Choirs and brass bands are a part of the mid-Lenten holiday, while the begging song tradition extends through many holidays throughout the year.

To end our journey around the world on our quest for folk music I have chosen the Carnival of Venice, as the above image shows. There is a wonderful piece of music titled "Carnival of Venice" by Paganini (1782-1840). And ... however this isn't really folkmusic ... it's a nice way to close this wonderful month.

But to give you all the opportunity to create your Japanese poetry based on folk music I also have a nice Italian folksong for your inspiration.

Make your choice, or maybe you dare to use both pieces of music ... it's up to you.

I ran through my archives and ran into a nice cascading haiku that fits this theme in a nice, but extraordinary way. I wrote this cascading haiku back in 2016 in response on a CDHK episode written by Hamish Managua Gunn.

Venice Carnival
dark green eyes
hidden behind a mask -
she's mysterious

she's mysterious
breathtaking glamorous mask
attractive force

attractive force
mystical and magical
who is she?

who is she?
thrills of unmasking at midnight
exposed to the world

exposed to the world
she turns into a man with
dark green eyes

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... this was the last episode of our wonderful journey around the world on a quest for folkmusic. I hope you all enjoyed this wonderful month, this journey ... thank you all for participating in this journey.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 6th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Carpe Diem #1508 Easter Island's music of the Rapa Nui

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Do you know Easter Island? That island with its hundreds of stone carved heads on pedastals? Welcome at the penultimate episode of this wonderful month in which we were on a journey around the world on a quest for folkmusic.

I am intrigued by Easter Island and its inhabitants that are Polynesian by origine, but have created their own culture on Easter Island. I love to tell you a little bit more about Easter Island's inhabitants, the Rapa Nui (people).

Easter Island
The Rapa Nui are the aboriginal Polynesian inhabitants of Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. The easternmost Polynesian culture, the descendants of the original people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) make up about 60% of the current Rapa Nui population and have a significant portion of their population residing in mainland Chile. They speak both the traditional Rapa Nui language and the primary language of Chile, Spanish. At the 2002 census there were 3,304 island inhabitants—almost all living in the village of Hanga Roa. Hanga Roa is the main town, harbour and capital of Easter Island, a province of Chile. It is located in the southern part of the island's west coast, in the lowlands between the extinct volcanoes of Terevaka and Rano Kau.

Hanga Roa Harbour
What kind of music they have on Easter Island? Are their songs all about Easter? Or are their songs more Polynesian of nature. Let us explore that a little bit.

The music of Easter Island has a most distinctive Tahitian influence and comprises traditional singing and chanting. In this sense, every family forms a choir. Each of these groups views in imagination with the others in relating the life of the community and thus perpetuating the memory of the Rongorongo. In the past, these groups had come together each year to take part in the contest. Supposedly judged in an unbiased manner, the contest results in disputations and quarrels which can go on until the following year and the next contest.

In the early days, these groups were accompanied by the conch-shell trumpet with rhythm being provided by a dancer leaping on a thin stone slab set over a pit containing a large calabash resonator. It is also believed that in the early days stone castanets were also used. Unfortunately, none of these instruments remain in use today and singers are now accompanied by guitars. In common with other Polynesians, the traditional music also forms the basis for the dance.

Traditional Easter Island Dance (Rapanookee vona)

Contemporary Easter Island music tells stories about the arrival and departure of loved ones, the story of the new bride which praises marriage, the villages, the sunrise and the wind blowing on the island. There are also songs which are concerned with the past, the Rongorongo tradition which traces the history of the family from the very earliest times along with the song of the moai sculptures in which the rhythm is provided by the striking together of two stones, representing the sound of the sculptors of the giant statues at work in the quarries.

What a wonderful story this was. It felt almost as being there on that strange Easter Island with those nice Moai  statues. A mysterious island, but the music of this island is really gorgeous and I hoe you will like it as much as I did.

Well ... did you like the song? Did the music inspire you? It inspired me ...

Rapa Nui
mysterious land of the Moai
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 5th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our last episode of this month later on.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Carpe Diem #1507 Folk music of the Faroe Islands

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Yesterday we visited Argentina and listened to their wonderful Tango music and it was a joy. Today we will go further on our journey around the world on a quest for folkmusic. What will be our new destination? Well ... we will visit the Faroe Islands and one of their renown musicians is Eivor Palsdottir. I think we have had one of her songs earlier in our rich history. I think it was in a CD Special written by our Hamish Managua Gunn about Shaman Haiku, a kind of haiku inspired on the ancient rituals of the shaman. A nice CD Special to read again with a lot of wonderful "shaman"-haiku.

Awesome music from the Faroe Islands by renown singer Eivor. Enjoy listening and watching this beautiful music video.

Here is a "shaman"-haiku from my archives:

sound of the earth
an eagle points the path of the shaman
finally free

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 4th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our penultimate episode later on.

Don't forget our 2nd edition of the Troiku Kukai. You can find the link to it at the left of our Kai. This Troiku Kukai runs until September 15th at 10:00 PM (CEST).

Monday, August 27, 2018

Carpe Diem #1506 Tango ... passionate music from Argentina

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a journey this month is. We have visited wonderful places and listened to wonderful folkmusic. I remember that we had a few of these folkmusic episodes in our rich history and maybe you can remember this episode: Tango (Argentina) (published on February 6th 2013)

And as the title of this episode already reveals that's the country we are going to visit today. I am not a great dancer and for sure I am not a Tango dancer, but I love the dance and the music used for it. It sounds great and the Tango looks so sensual, romantic and passionate that I just have to listen and enjoy Tango dancers.

the love of my life seduces me
I am on fire

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... maybe you are into Tango now ... I hope it will inspire you to create haiku, tanka or other form of Japanese poetry.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 3rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our next episode later on.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Carpe Diem #1505 Haku Mele, the music of Hawaii

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first episode of the last week of August, the month in which we were on a journey around the world on a quest for folk music. We have visited all regions of the world, but today we will visit Hawaii, a wonderful state of the US, and a wonderful island I think. I have never been there, but I have seen wonderful images of this unique island.

Hawaiian folk music includes several varieties of chanting (mele) and music meant for highly ritualized dance (hula). Traditional Hawaiian music and dance was functional, used to express praise, communicate genealogy and mythology, and accompany games, festivals and other secular events. The Hawaiian language has no word that translates precisely as music, but a diverse vocabulary exists to describe rhythms, instruments, styles and elements of voice production. Hawaiian folk music is simple in melody and rhythm, but is "complex and rich" in the "poetry, accompanying mimetic dance (hula), and subtleties of vocal styles... even in the attenuated forms in which they survive today".

The chant (mele) is typically accompanied by an ipu heke (a double gourd) and/or pahu (sharkskin covered drum). Some dances require dancers to utilize hula implements such as an ipu (single gourd), ʻiliʻili (waterworn lava stone castanets),ʻuliʻuli (feathered gourd rattles), pu`ʻli (split bamboo sticks) or kalaʻau (rhythm sticks). The older, formal kind of hula is called kahiko, while the modern version is ʻauana. There are also religious chants called ʻoli; when accompanied by dancing and drums, it is called mele hula pahu.

In the pre-contact Hawaiian language, the word mele referred to any kind of poetic expression, though it now translates as song. The two kinds of Hawaiian chanting were mele oli and mele hula. The first were a cappella individual songs, while the latter were accompanied dance music performed by a group. The chanters were known as haku mele and were highly trained composers and performers. Some kinds of chants express emotions like angst and affection, or request a favor from another person. Other chants are for specific purposes like naming, (mele inoa), prayer (mele pule), surfing (mele he'e nalu) and genealogical recitations (mele koihonua). Mele chants were governed by strict rules, and were performed in a number of styles include the rapid kepakepa and the enunciate koihonua. (Source: wikipedia)

Wow ...! What a wonderful music this is. I could easily imagine Hawaii and being there. Really I enjoyed this music.

while volcanoes erupt
mele pule

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I am a little bit late with this episode, but ... I think you don't have a problem with that.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 2nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Carpe Diem Extra August 24th 2018: New E-Book?

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you have noticed already I have published a new weekend meditation "Carpe Diem Quest For A New Masterpiece" and maybe you have read the first episode of this feature by clicking on the given link. Than maybe you have read that I would love to create a new exclusive CDHK E-book with your masterpieces. According to our publishing policy (which you can find at the bottom of our Kai) I have the right to use your work for our exclusive CDHK series of E-books, but .... of course I find it necessary to ask your permission to use your work for this new exclusive CDHK E-book. Of course I will give the credits of your work as I always do.

This new exclusive CDHK E-book I have given the "working title": New Masters Of An Ancient Poetry Form, masterpieces of modern haiku- and tanka poets.

You can respond on this question through the comment field.

Have a wonderful weekend!

tears of joy
spilled into the old pond -
the moon's reflection

© Chèvrefeuille

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #47 quest for a (new) masterpiece

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday August 26th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Summer is almost over. We have still a few days to go before the meteorological Autumn starts, that will be on September 1st. So I think this weekend meditation needs a new autumn-logo, so I will give that a thought.

For this weekend I have chosen to challenge you to create your masterpiece. Maybe you can remember our special feature "Carpe Diem's Quest For A New Masterpiece". It was back than the idea to make that a regular feature, but that didn't happen, but I like that feature so I have decided to make this feature part of the weekend meditations.

The explanation of this feature you can find HERE. The goal is to create your own masterpiece. What is a masterpiece? I think a masterpiece is a haiku (or tanka) that will survive over the years like that nice masterpiece by Basho:

old pond
a frog jumps
water sound

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Or that other one by Chiyo-Ni:

morning glory!
the well bucket-entangled,
I ask for water

© Chiyo-Ni (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

For this this weekend meditation you can choose your own theme to write your masterpiece about, but ... your "masterpiece" has to follow the classical rules as you can find above in the menu in CD Lecture 1.

Logo of this special feature: Quest for a masterpiece
I am looking forward to your masterpieces. Take your time, Write and revise your haiku (or tanka) and re-write it. Try to create your masterpiece as strong as those I gave as an example.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday August 26th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until September 2nd at noon (CEST). Have a wonderful weekend with a lot of inspiration.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #111 Autumn Heat

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Last week I re-started our weekly Tan Renga Challenge (TRC) on Wednesdays, but this week's TRC I couldn't make on time through lack of time, but here it is a new TRC for you:

This week I have a nice haiku written by Taneda Santoka (1882-1940) to work with. Santoka Taneda was a haiku poet who choose to free-style with haiku. What does that mean? He didn't follow the classical onji (5-7-5) or for example didn't use kigo (seasonwords). A style of haiku-ing I love too.

Begging Bowl
The goal of this TRC is to create the second stanza (of two-lines with approximately 14 words) through association on images and scenes in the given haiku. Here is the "hokku" to work with:

autumn heat --
my begging bowl
is full of rice

(C) Santoka Taneda (Tr. John Stevens)

This episode of our TRC is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 30th 10:00 PM (CEST). Have fun!

Carpe Diem #1504 America's folkmusic

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful month this is. All those different kinds of music full of joy and sadness that inspire us to create haiku and tanka (or other form of Japanese poetry). Yesterday we listened to a wonderful Inuit song about the Goddess of the Sea and today I love to inspire you through American folkmusic. Let me tell you a little bit more about the American folkmusic.

American folk music has no precise nameable origin because it organically grew out of a communal tradition more than for entertainment or profit. There are folk songs that date so far back they can be considered oral histories. Certainly, in America, songs by traditional American folk singers like Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie tell stories that often don’t even appear in history books.
From its origins, folk music has been the music of the working class. It is community-focused and has rarely enjoyed commercial success. By definition, it is something anyone can understand and in which everyone is welcome to participate. Folk songs range in subject matter from war, work, civil rights and economic hardship to nonsense, satire and, of course, love songs.
From the onset of American history, folk music has shown up at times when the people needed it most. The earliest folk songs rose from slave fields as spirituals such as “Down by the Riverside” and “We Shall Overcome.” These are songs about struggle and hardship but are also full of hope. They sprang from the need of the worker to go to a place in her brain where she knew there was more to the world than the hardships she was facing at the time.

I hope you enjoyed this piece of American folkmusic and that it inspires you to create Japanese poetry.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 30th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend-meditation later on. For now ... have fun!


Carpe Diem #1503 The Music of the Inuit

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This will be again a small episode I think, but it's a nice one too I think. Today I have a nice piece of folkmusic from the Inuit, a race living in the Northern parts of Canada and Greenland. I am late with this episode because I had a very busy evening shift at work. So my excuses for being this late with publishing.

The above Inuit song is titled "Sedna". Sedna is the Inuit Goddess of the Sea. Listen to this beautiful music with respect for Sedna.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 29th at noon (CEST). I hope to publish our next episode later on if work isn't to busy I hope.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Carpe Diem #1502 The Star of Logy Bay, Canada

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a short episode for you today, just because I have not a lot of time today. We are leaving Iceland and travel on to Canada. To make it myself a bit easy I will give you only a music video.

It's a Canadian folksong titled "The Star of Logy Bay", that's why this episode has that title.

I hope you did enjoy this Canadian folksong. And that it will inspire you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 28th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Carpe Diem Extra August 20th 2018, upcoming month ... make your choice

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

August is almost gone by so it's time to focus on our upcoming month. I have a question for you all. I am not sure which theme I have to choose for September 2018. I have two possible themes for you and I hope you can help me with making the right choice.

Here are the two themes I have chosen:

September Tan Renga Challenge Month, creating Tan Renga every day or September Gitanjali the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore.

Two wonderful themes I think, but I love to hear from you all which theme to use next month. So please help me to decide. Share your idea through the comment field.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

PS. A few days ago I opened the submissions for our 2nd edition of the Troiku Kukai. You can submit your Troiku until September 15th 2018. At the left side of our Kai you can find the link towards the Troiku Kukai. Please email your Troiku to: please write "Troiku Kukai 2" in the subject line.

Carpe Diem #1501 Rimur, folkmusic from Iceland

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we arrive at Iceland on our quest around the world for folkmusic. The music of Iceland can be traced back to the 14th century. The "oldest" known folkmusic of Iceland is the so called Rimur. What is Rimur? Let me tell you a little about it.

Rímur is a type of epic vocal poem, with fixed diatonic melodies. Rímur melodies (rímnalög, kvæðalög, stemmur) are often standard, and found throughout the country. These epic poems are written in a narrative style, using elements of Icelandic literature and folklore. The performers were lauded for their ability to tell a story in verses. A rímur verse is made up of trochaic lines which use literary techniques such as rhyme and alliteration. There are between two and four lines with a pattern of syllabic stress and alliteration. Music author Hreinn Steingrímsson describes rímur this way:

[...] "The four-line metres are a combination of two couplets with four stressed syllables in the first line of each, and two such syllables (first and third, second and third, or third and fourth) alliterate with the first stressed syllable of the second line."[...]

The earliest known text of a rímur dates to the 14th century; for the subsequent six hundred years, the rímur texts were the most prolifically produced form of Icelandic literature. Rímur melodies date back to publications by folklorist Ólafur Davíðsson and were then collected in the first Icelandic folk music collection, Íslenzk þjóðlög, by Bjarni Þorsteinsson.

Rímur, specially the short four-line metres form "ferskeytla", is still very popular today in Iceland in most social groups. It is common to put together a ríma (setja saman stöku) about current events usually in the form of a joke or ridicule. These short rhymes tend to proliferate via email. It is also common during parties that a guest may say a ríma that he has learned or composed as a form of a joke, often an insult. Skill at composing rímur is often an admired skill.

A common game is to tell the first part ("fyrri partur", the first two lines) of a ríma, and for others to complete the third and fourth lines (to "botna"), each in their own way. The one whose "botn" is the cleverest wins. This game can become a serious competition (known as "kveðast á") when two or more who are particularly skilled at composing rímur come together. It is an informal rule that if one is ridiculed or even insulted with a ríma he must answer back in kind; any other form of answer is invalid.

Icelandic landscape

The above explanation of the game with rima sounds great and in a way looks similar with Tan Renga or Renga. Two nice Japanese poetry forms created by two (or more) haiku poets.

I hoped to find an example of this rami, but I didn't succeed. Therefore I love to share a nice Icelandic poem by Jonas Hallgrimmson:

Serene and warm, now southern winds come streaming
     to waken all the billows on the ocean,
     who crowd toward Iceland with an urgent motion —
     isle of my birth! where sand and surf are gleaming.

Oh waves and winds! embrace with bold caresses
     the bluffs of home with all their seabirds calling!
     Lovingly, waves, salute the boats out trawling!
     Lightly, oh winds, kiss glowing cheeks and tresses!

Herald of spring! oh faithful thrush, who flies
     fathomless heaven to reach our valleys, bearing
     cargoes of song to sing the hills above:

there, if you meet an angel with bright eyes
     under the neat, red-tasseled cap she's wearing,
     greet her devoutly! That's the girl I love.

© Jonas Hallgrimmson

What a wonderful poem this is, but not really my "cup of tea". I am not a big fan of creating this kind of poetry, but I love reading poetry in all its wonderful ways.

seabirds cry without tears
waves caressing the shore
a warm embrace

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental)

What a wonderful music ... really amazing and I hope you liked it too. I hope this music will inspire you.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 27th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our next episode later on.

Carpe Diem #1500 Where the rivers flow, Irish folkmusic

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and that our new weekend-meditation has awakened your muses. I had a good weekend, for the biggest part by the way in my bed, because I am on the nightshift.
I have tried to catch up with commenting, but didn't catch up with the Summer Retreat, maybe that I will do this night or this week.

Before the weekend started we visited Afghanistan and now we are traveling back to Europe, to be precise ... we are traveling to Ireland. In my salutation I use "travelers" every day and it happens to be that travelers, a kind of gypsies, are original from Ireland, so maybe they influenced the traditional folkmusic of Ireland too. This is by the way our 1500th regular episode here at CDHK. Another nice milestone I would say.

Irish Music Group
Let me tell you a little bit more about traditional Irish folkmusic. Of course I have used the online source of knowledge at Wikipedia, partially re-written or shortend.

Irish traditional music (also known as Irish trad, Irish folk music) is a genre of folk music that developed in Ireland.
In A History of Irish Music (1905), W. H. Grattan Flood wrote that, in Gaelic Ireland, there were at least ten instruments in general use. These were the cruit (a small harp) and clairseach (a bigger harp with typically 30 strings), the timpan (a small string instrument played with a bow or plectrum), the feadan (a fife), the buinne (an oboe or flute), the guthbuinne (a bassoon-type horn), the bennbuabhal and corn (hornpipes), the cuislenna (bagpipes), the stoc and sturgan (clarions or trumpets), and the cnamha (castanets). There is also evidence of the fiddle being used in the 8th century.
There are several collections of Irish folk music from the 18th century, but it was not until the 19th century that ballad printers became established in Dublin. Though solo performance is preferred in the folk tradition, bands or at least small ensembles have probably been a part of Irish music since at least the mid-19th century, although this is a point of much contention among ethnomusicologists.
Irish traditional music has endured more strongly against the forces of cinema, radio and the mass media than the indigenous folk music of most European countries. This was possibly because the country was not a geographical battleground in either of the two world wars. Another potential factor was that the economy was largely agricultural, where oral tradition usually thrives. From the end of the second world war until the late fifties folk music was held in low regard. Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (an Irish traditional music association) and the popularity of the Fleadh Cheoil (music festival) helped lead the revival of the music. The English Folk music scene also encouraged and gave self-confidence to many Irish musicians. Following the success of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the USA in 1959, Irish folk music became fashionable again. The lush sentimental style of singers such as Delia Murphy was replaced by guitar-driven male groups such as The Dubliners. Irish showbands presented a mixture of pop music and folk dance tunes, though these died out during the seventies. The international success of The Chieftains and subsequent musicians and groups has made Irish folk music a global brand.
Historically much old-time music of the USA grew out of the music of Ireland, England and Scotland, as a result of cultural diffusion.

I love this kind of music it makes me happy.

pot of gold
not at the end of the Rainbow
lucky music

(C) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I am late with publishing, but I hadn't enough time to create an episode. So this episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 26th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #46 Renga With Basho Hineri "autumn coolness"

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday August 19th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's almost weekend and that means time again for our special feature Carpe Diem's Weekend Meditation and this weekend I love to challenge you with a new version of our "Renga With Basho". As you al know (maybe) Basho was a famous renga-master and he attended several renga parties as a guest, a participant or as judge.
Today I was re-readin Jane Reihhold's "Basho, The Complete Haiku" and ran into a beautiful "hokku" he wrote for one of the renga parties he attended. That gave me a nice idea. I love to challenge you this weekend to create (again) a Renga With Basho, but this weekend I have "re-named" this special feature to "Renga With Basho Hineri". "Hineri" means "with a twist" and than you all can know that this is a little bit different than our regular special feature "Renga With Basho".

I will give you six haiku written by Basho in a translation by Jane Reichhold, but one of those haiku is a real "hokku" used by Basho at a renga-party he attended. You have to start your Renga With Basho with that real "hokku".

Here are the six haiku (including the real "hokku") to work with. The goal is to write the 2-lined stanza between the haiku and to close the "chain" with a "ageku" that connects the last verse with the first one. Except the hokku you can choose your own line-up for this Renga With Basho Hineri.

blossoms at their peak
the mountain the same as always
at daybreak

with young leaves
I would like to wipe away
the tears in your eyes

swinging bridge
lives are intertwined
in Ivy vines

Melons and Eggplant (Japanese woodblock print)

autumn coolness
each peeling with our hands
melons and eggplant

a clear night
cooling myself under cherry trees
waves of flowers

to get wet passing by
a man is interesting
bush clover in rain

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold; taken from "Basho, The Complete Haiku")

The original "hokku", the first verse of this renga is the one in fat-green print. That "hokku" you have to use as the starting verse of your Renga With Basho Hineri. You can choose your line-up from the five other haiku (in dark blue).

Create your Renga With Basho Hineri by writing the two-lined stanza with approximately 14 syllables. It's up to you now ...

This weekend meditation is open for submissions next Sunday August 19th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until August 26th at noon (CEST). I hope to publish our new regular episode around the same time. For now ... have fun and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Carpe Diem #1499 Food For The Soul, music from Afghanistan

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are staying in Asia for a while, because of the richness of the music of Asia. Recently I took care of a very ill patient from Afghanistan. He listened almost every evening to music from is motherland and I can say without a doubt that Afghan music is really beautiful. So today I love to challenge you to listen to an Afghan piece of music for your inspiration, but first I will give you a little bit background on this music from Afghanistan.

The Afghan concept of music is closely associated with instruments, and thus unaccompanied religious singing is not considered music. Koran recitation is an important kind of unaccompanied religious performance, as is the ecstatic Zikr ritual of the Sufis which uses songs called na't, and the Shi'a solo and group singing styles like mursia, manqasat, nowheh and rowzeh. The Chishti Sufi sect of Kabul is an exception in that they use instruments like the rubab, tabla and harmonium in their worship; this music is called tatti ("food for the soul").

Afghan rubab
I have chosen an example of Afghan folkmusic to inspire you.

A wonderful song I think. I loved listening to it and I hope you can appreciate it too. Of course I hope you will be inspired too by this song. This song inspired me to the following tanka:

along the river
I walk barefoot and listen
the voice of water
telling me stories from faraway
cherishing my tearful soul 

© Chèvrefeuille

As you all know tanka isn't really my "cup of tea", but I think this one has become beautiful (how immodest).

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 23rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend-meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Carpe Diem Extra August 15th 2018 2nd edition of the CDHK Troiku Kukai

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It has been a while that I organized a kukai, but that will change today. I invite you to participate in our 2nd edition of the CDHK Troiku Kukai. What is the goal of the Troiku Kukai? I will give you an haiku from a modern or a classical haiku poet and you have to create a Troiku with it. More on Troiku you can find above in the menu. Troiku is a creative way of haiku-ing invented by myself back in 2012. I know that several of you are caught by this new creative way of haiku-ing and that you enjoy creating Troiku.

This 2nd edition of the CDHK Troiku Kukai starts today and will run to September 15th 2018. You can email your Troiku to our emailadress: Please write Troiku Kukai 2 in the subject line.

For this 2nd edition of the Troiku Kukai I have chosen a nice haiku by the classical master Yosa Buson (1716-1784). Separate the three lines and create a new haiku with every separated line. No need to follow the classical haiku rules, just enjoy creating Troiku.

Shell On The Beach (photographer unknown)

Here is the haiku to work with by Buson:

Springtime rain -- 
a little shell on a small beach, 
enough to moisten it

© Yosa Buson (Tr. unknown)

This 2nd edition of the CDHK Troiku Kukai is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 15th 2018 at noon (CEST).
Send your Troiku to: Please write Troiku Kukai 2 in the subject line.

Have fun!

Your host,


Carpe Diem #1498 Music from the steppes

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are on a journey around the world on a quest for folkmusic. Yesterday we visited Tibet and listened to the throat singing monks of Tibet. Today we are going further and we will arrive in Mongolia.
Back in our history we have visited Mongolia a few times and today we are doing that again, because in Mongolia we also find what is called "throat singing". (More about throat-singing in Mongolia you can find HERE.)

Because of lack of time this will be a short episode with only a video of Throat singing from Mongolia.

Isn't it wonderful how this throat singing sounds great? It's really a joy to listen to it. Enjoy the music.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until August 22nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.