Thursday, January 3, 2019

Carpe Diem #1577 snowflakes (kazahana)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month we are exploring the kigo (seasonwords) of winter. Kigo are part of haiku since the birth of haiku, back into the 17th century. In that century several of the renown haiku poets lived their life. For example the greatest of them all Matsuo Basho, but there were several other haiku poets that created their haiku in that century.
One of the basic rules of a classical haiku is the use of kigo. A kigo is a word that points towards the season in which the haiku scene was created. This month that classical rule we are exploring through modern and classical kigo and today I have a nice classical kigo, snowflakes (kazahana). Snowflakes we know all. Those wonderful creations, so fragile and in very different kinds. The Japanese translation "kazahana" means literaly "wind flowers" and I think that's the right translation for snowflakes, because as we look at snowflakes they look like flowers.

Snowflake (kazahana)
Look at the fragile structure and beauty of the above snowflake ... gorgeous isn't it? Nature is full of this beauty, but when did we (humans) stop appreciating the beauty of nature? I don't know, because I love nature in all its wonders. As a haiku poet I am admiring nature ... it's so beautiful and we have to cherish it.

I found two beautiful haiku by Kobayashi Issa:

little straw mat--
the cat comes with a coat
of snowflakes

snowflakes flitting down--
a winter solstice

© Kobayashi Issa

Fragile beauty (kazahana - snowflakes)
And here are a few haiku from my archive:

cover the red roses
on a new grave

falling gently
fragile beauty

© Chèvrefeuille

Look at that beauty ... isn't it a wonderful piece of nature? Snowflakes ... are awesome!

After doing some extra research I found another nice haiku about snowflakes by my sensei Basho:

polished again
the mirror is as clear as
flower-like snowflakes

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

There is a small anecdote on this one. I remember that I once wrote a haiku in the same way, with almost the same words before I ever had heard of Basho or had read all his work. At that moment I was just a starting haiku poet and I was ofcourse proud on this one, but than ... it turned out to be a haiku by Basho. Here is that haiku I once wrote:

polished again
on the clear mirror
flowers of snow

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't that strange? 

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 10th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our first weekend meditation later on.

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