Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Carpe Diem #1534 Yaha ... one of Basho's ten greatest disciples (crossroads)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the penultimate episode of this month in which we celebrated our 6th anniversary. It was a really nice month, a festive month I think. All our themes / prompts followed the alphabet and today we arrived at the letter Y and Z.

As you all know I see Basho as my sensei, my master, but in his life (1644-1694) Basho had several disciples. Some sources say more than 1000 disciples, but he had ten disciples he appreciated the most. One of those disciples was Yaha (or Yaba) who lived from 1662 to 1740. Yaha and Basho were very close and Yaha, for sure, loved his master very much.

Yaha (or Yaba)
I had to search the Internet to find a few of his haiku to inspire you and I have found a few beauties. I love to share them here:

asajimo ya shi no sune omou yuki no kure

morning frost -
I think of the shins of my master
on a night with snow

chikara na ya hiza o kakaete fuyugomori

no strength left -
I wrap my arms around my knees
in winter solitude

© Yaha

Yaha was a master in using the Karumi-style as invented by Basho. In a letter Basho wrote to Yaha he writes:

. uguisu ya mochi ni fun suru en no saki . 

Ah! the uguisu
Pooped on the rice-cakes
On the verandah. 

© Basho

The master’s new poetic ideal in this poem had a deep impact on his disciples, as Yaba wrote:

[...] "I am utterly impressed by the exceptionally wonderful combination of the warbler and the rice cake. I don’t think one can find any other verse like this. The effect cannot be achieved without the words “excreting on a rice cake.” 
The juxtaposition is so magically marvelous that it can only be compared to the masterpiece of the Natural. There may be more combinations like the warbler and rice cake later, but we will never see a line like “excreting on a rice cake.” In these words lies the soul of the poem." [...]

Uguisu (Bush Warbler)

From that same letter Yaha wrote in response of Basho's letter I have taken the above two haiku, in each of them I think you can find the Karumi-style.

The task for today is to create a fusion-haiku from the both haiku by Yaha, so this penultimate episode is a "crossroad" episode.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 7th at noon (CET). I will publish our last episode of our celebration, the letter Z, immediately hereafter.

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