Thursday, October 11, 2018

Carpe Diem #1520 Kanshicho ... in the way of Chinese poetry (free-styling with haiku)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you can remember our discussion about a certain style of haiku writing, Kanshicho. That discussion we had back in 2014. It's a free-styling way of haiku writing, but as we dived further in this matter we discovered that Kanshicho was a "hoax", but as you maybe know I love to create my haiku in a free style way, so I use Kanshicho to define my haiku.

I love to go back in time and will try to explain Kanshicho here again:

[...[ "In response of this change in haiku-poetry Basho and others introduce the Kanshicho: in the tone of the Chinese verse. In Kanshicho the breaking of the 5-7-5 rule is no exception. Basho uses this Kanshicho-style during the years 1683-1685 as he lives as a recluse in Fukagawa. Basho's Kanshicho-style is prominent in an anthology compiled by Kikaku "An Empty Chestnut" (1683). The Kanshicho-style disappears after three years (1685) and Basho re-writes several Kanshicho-styled haiku into the classical way. [...]

I will look at the separate "onji" of "Kanshicho" now and than I will try to explain what Kanshicho was meant to be.

Kan means: perception, expression

Shi means extravagance, pride, poetry

Cho means frivolity, number, butterfly

Kanshi means Chinese poetry

As I place those meanings together than Kanshicho means:

A poem in the Chinese way that expresses the extravagance and pride of the poet with the frivolity of the flight of a butterfly. And then Kanshicho starts to come to life. It's an expression of something which is seen by the poet, a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown in to water, in which he/she sees the extravagant beauty  and pride of nature. That extravagance beauty is caught in a three lined verse with the frivolity, (in my opinion frivolity means "not strings attached, free") of the flight of a butterfly.


This explanation could have been used by Basho and his companions to bring the essence and beauty of haiku to the ordinary people. Frivolity like the flight of a butterfly can not be caught in a 5-7-5 strict rule, so to bring that frivolity into the haiku, Basho, Soin and others broke the rule of 5-7-5 ...

I hope that I have explained the Kanshicho-style and that we all just see it as a chance to experiment with our beloved haiku ... because that's the most important of haiku ... enjoying it and feel free to give form to your feelings whether that is in the classical or in the non-classical way of haiku.

For this episode I have the following "challenge" ... try to write a haiku in which the meaning of Kanshicho as mentioned above can be seen or found. Just try to write a haiku that expresses the extravagance and pride of the poet with the frivolity of the flight of a butterfly.

tears fall
on an empty sheet of paper 
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until October 18th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend-meditation later on. For now.. have fun!

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