Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Carpe Diem #1814 lost love


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. This month it's all about Love in all its wonderful forms. Today however I have chosen for a prompt that's not that wonderful ... or maybe even a "lost love" can be wonderful.

Our prompt for today is "Lost Love".


Lost Love

rainy day
tears become one with puddles
new moon


© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 26th at noon (CET). Have fun!


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday #14 Wisteria Beans


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our special feature Tan Renga Wednesday, that wonderful feature in which I challenge you to complete a Tan Renga by adding your two-lined stanza to a given haiku.

During lack of time I will give you only the haiku to work with. This week I have chosen a haiku by Basho:

wisteria beans
let's make that a theme for haikai
a flower fruit 

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Well ... a nice one I think to work with.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 25th at noon (CET). Have fun!


Carpe Diem #1813 Love At First Sight


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First my apologies for being late with publishing our new regular episode. I hadn't time enough to create it. Because of that I will just give you the theme for today (Tuesday February 18th). As you all know this month our theme is ... Love ... so for today I have chosen that wonderful and exciting experience ... Love At First Sight. I know what I am talking about, because my wife and I fell in love at first sight ...

one heartbeat
her wonderful smile
a blanket of love


© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 24th at noon (CET). Have fun!


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Carpe Diem #1812 The Day After Valentine's Day ...



Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Love Month here at CDHK. Last Friday it was Valentine's Day and today I have chosen a nice theme ... The Day After Valentine's Day ... Ofcourse that was last Saturday, February 15th, but as you all know we have our weekend meditation nowadays in the weekends.

This haiku is about Valentine's day or more the day after. As you maybe know Saint Valentine's Day is on February 14th and is a holiday in almost the whole world, also in Russia. Here is a special haiku by Alexey Andreyev for your inspiration to write an all new haiku in the same sense, tone and Spirit as the one given.

Russian Icon of St. Valentine

To stay in touch with our Love theme I have used the above Icon.

РПУМЕ чБМЕОФЙОПЧБ ДОС -
ЛТБУОЩЕ МЕРЕУФЛЙ ОБ РПМХ, Й
НЕФМБ Ч ХЗМХ
                      
day after Valentine's -
red petals on the floor, and
a broom in the corner

© Alexey Andreyev

A wonderful haiku I think. As I read this haiku I thought "what happened here?" Did the young lovers have a quarrel? Or is the scene more metaphorical? Tells this haiku that the love is over after a long time? Why didn't they sweep the floor? All that kind of questions came in my mind. And with those thoughts I wrote my own haiku inspired on the one by Alexey. I even have tried to write this haiku in the classical way.

petals of roses
scattered through the living room
a ring on the table

© Chèvrefeuille

petals of roses

A sad haiku ... but that sadness is also part of haiku. Haiku is a great medium to share your emotions caught is a few lines. This also is part of Love ... breaking up.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 23rd at noon (CET). Have fun!


Saturday, February 15, 2020

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #116 Renga With ... waiting for the full moon


!! Open for your submissions next Sunday February 16th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new Weekend Meditation episode. This weekend I love to challenge you to create a Renga With ... That beautiful feature in which you have the opportunity to create haiku with known and unknown haiku masters.

This weekend I love to challenge you to create a renga with the so called "big five" (Basho, Issa, Buson, Chiyo-Ni and Shiki). And, how immodest, one of my own haiku.

Here are the six haiku to work with:

the autumn wind:
thickets and fields also,
Fuha Barrier

© Basho

a dandelion
now and then interrupting
the butterfly's dream

© Chiyo-Ni



the thunderstorm having cleared up
the evening sun shines on a tree
where a cicada is chirping 

© Shiki

simply trust:
do not also the petals flutter down,
just like that?

© Issa

in nooks and corners
cold remains:
flowers of the plum

© Buson



ancient warriors ghosts
mists over the foreign highlands -
waiting for the full moon

© Chèvrefeuille

Six nice haiku I think. Now it's up to you to create a renga with them by adding your two-lined stanza of approx. 7-7 syllables. You can choose your own "line-up". Enjoy this Renga challenge and have a wonderful weekend.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday, February 16th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 23rd at noon (CET). Enjoy!


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Carpe Diem #1811 Valentine's Day ...


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Valentine's day, a day to send cards to secret lovers or give gifts to the one you love. But ... who was Valentine? I did some research on Valentine.

Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is a holiday observed on February
14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.
The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").



Saint Valentine (in Latin, Valentinus) is the name of several (14 in all ) martyred saints of ancient Rome. The name "Valentine", derived from valens(worthy, strong, powerful), was popular in Late Antiquity. Of the Saint Valentine whose feast is on February 14, nothing is known except his name and that he was buried on the Via Flaminia north of Rome on February 14, he was born on April 16. It is even uncertain whether the feast of that day celebrates only one saint or more saints of the same name. For this reason this liturgical commemoration was not kept in the Catholic calendar of saints for universal liturgical veneration as revised in 1969. But "Martyr Valentinus the Presbyter and those with him at Rome" remains in the list of saints proposed for veneration by all Catholics

Well ... now I know a little bit more of Saint Valentine's Day. Now I can write a few new haiku for today's haiku challenge :-)

behind the clouds
the mysterious moon
'be my Valentine'

Valentine's Day
the postmen brings love cards
someone unknown




newly weds
eating oysters
under the plum tree

her lovely face
smiling at me in the mirror
'love you forever'

newly weds
under the blooming cherries
Ah! how lovely

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you all will have a secret lover that sends you flowers or cards on Valentine's Day.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 20th at noon (CET). Have fun!


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Carpe Diem #1810 rainbow


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Kai. This month it's "Love Month" and that my friends means all our prompts have to do with love. Today I have chosen the prompt "rainbow" and as you all know the "rainbow-flag" is for all kinds of love, not only the love between man and woman, but also the love between two man, two women, transgenders and bisexuals. Isn't it a joy to see that in the most countries around the world you can be gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual. Ofcourse there are countries were it isn't possible to have a relation with a man if you are a man, or two women in a love relation. That makes me sad.

Isn't it the most intense emotion we all know ... LOVE?




Awesome to see this flag wave against the blue sky ... colorful ... as is life, as is nature, as is love.

against the blue sky
Gods Love waves at us
shining rainbow


© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 19th at noon (CET). Have fun!


Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday #13 Winter Chrysanthemum


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our Tan Renga Wednesday, that nice special feature about Tan Renga. Your goal is to create a Tan Renga with a given haiku by adding your two-lined stanza through association.

Here is the haiku to work with:

Winter chrysanthemum,
Wearing nothing
but its own light

© Mizuhara Shūōshi (1892-1981)

Winter Chrysanthemum (Japanese Woodblock print by Kono Bairei)

This episode of our Tan Renga Wednesday is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 18th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Carpe Diem #1809 Wedding Bells


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Kai. Yesterday I challenged you to create an Acrostic Dodoitsu, a nice Japanese poetry form, but also a short poem. So today I love to challenge you with a Long Japanese Poetry form, the Choka. Let me tell you a little bit more about the Choka.

The choka can be of almost any length, because its form depends on alternating phrases (or lines) containing either seven of five sound units (onji). The end of the poem is signaled by two lines of seven sounds. So the form is five/seven, five/seven, five seven, .... , seven/seven.
This was the most popular form of poetry in the 9th century as indicated by the large number of works in the celebrated anthology Man'yoshu (The Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves). This anthology of anthologies contained 260 choka and 4200 tanka.


Page from The Man'yoshu

The poet Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, who composed most of his work in the last decade of the 7th century, took the choka to its highest lyrical point with his finesse in the use of ritual language.
The connection to tanka is evidenced by the envoy or hanka - a tanka-like poem attached at the end of the choka. Occasionally more than one envoy will close the choka. There have been a few efforts to revivie the form over the intervening centuries, but the form has failed to gain any popularity in Japan, and even less has been accomplished in English. (Based on Jane Reichhold's "Writing and Enjoying Haiku")

Here is an example of a choka from the Man'yoshu (no. 802):

The briefest chōka documented is Man'yōshū no. 802, which is of a pattern 5-7 5-7 5-7 5-7-7. It was composed in the Nara period and goes:

When I eat melons
My children come to my mind;
When I eat chestnuts
The longing is even worse.
Where do they come from,
Flickering before my eyes.
Making me helpless
Endlessly night after night.
Not letting me sleep in peace?

(envoy or hanka)

What are they to me,
Silver, or gold, or jewels?
How could they ever
Equal the greater treasure
That is a child? They cannot.

© Yamanoue no Okura (Tr. Edwin Cranston)

Choka ... a wonderful Japanese poetry form ... Today I love to challenge you to create a Choka in which Love is the main theme.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 17th at noon (CET). Have fun!


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Carpe Diem #1808 LOVE acrostic challenge


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. I had a busy weekend because I had to work. I am at work now, but have my coffee-break, so I have a little time to publish our new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai.

This month our theme is LOVE and for today I have chosen a nice challenge for you. I love to challenge you to create a  so called "acrostic" dodoitsu. Let me first tell you what "acrostic" means:

An acrostic is a poem (or other form of writing) in which the first letter (or syllable, or word) of each line (or paragraph, or other recurring feature in the text) spells out a word, message or the alphabet.

An "acrostic" haiku example, acrostic: ONE:

Only eyes for you
Naked she lays down on the beach
Everlasting love

©️ Chèvrefeuille

sunny beach

But today I love to challenge you to create a Dodoitsu, that's a 4-line Japanese poetry form, let me tell you a little bit more about the Dodoitsu:

Dodoitsu is a form of Japanese poetry developed towards the end of the Edo Period. Often concerning love or work, and usually comical, Dodoitsu poems consist of four lines with the syllabic structure 7-7-7-5 and no rhyme or metre.

An example of a Dodoitsu:

One Night

one night I searched for a star
what I found was a full moon
now my every day is
full of shooting stars

© Ben Gieske (2012)

So the goal of this challenge is to create a Dodoitsu with the "acrostic" LOVE, the first characters of every line need to form that word.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 16th at noon (CET). Have fun!



Saturday, February 8, 2020

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #115 Transformation ... a sone for a pillow


!! Open for your submissions tomorrow, Sunday February 9th, 2020 at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a (belated) new CDHK Weekend Meditation. It wasn't possible to publish on time, through circumstances. This weekend I love to challenge you with a new Transformation episode, that wonderful special feature in which the goal is to re-create a given haiku into a tanka.
This weekend I have chosen for a haiku by a not so well known haiku poet, Kawabata Bosha (1897-1941).

Kawabata Bosha

Bosha is a not so well known haiku poet, a contemporary of Shiki and a devotee to Basho, as we already can see in his haigo, Bosha.

Let me tell you first something about this not so well known haiku poet. Kawabata Bosha (1897-1941) was born on August 17 in Downtown Tokyo.His family name is Kawabata Nobukazu. His father had a great influence on his haiku career. His grandfather and his mother worked in a hospital and as a child it was his wish to become a doctor himself.
His stepbrother was Kawabata Ryush (Ryuushi), who later became a famous painter of traditional Japanese Paintings (Nihonga). Bosha himself was also a great painter.

At age 17 he started to use the haigo Bosha. He later became a most beloved student of Takahama Kyoshi and worked with the Aogiri Group. But his lung tuberculosis became worse and he died at a young age in 1941. On the evening of July 16 he died, this was his Jisei (death-poem).

ishi makura shite ware semi ka naki shigure

a stone for a pillow
me, just another cicada ...
so shrill, like crying

© Kawabata Bosha

cicada

A beautiful Jisei (death-poem) I would say. As read this Jisei I immediately thought about a haiku written by my sensei Matsuo Basho. In a way the haiku by Bosha was I think inspired on a haiku by Basho.

That haiku was the following:

the deep stillness
seeping into the rocks
the voice of the cicadas

© Matsuo Basho

Did you know that the life-circle of a cicada is 17 years? Could it be that our 17 syllables counting haiku was inspired on the life circle of the cicada? As that is true than haiku is for sure the poetry of nature.

Well ... enough talking.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions tomorrow Sunday February 9th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 16th at noon (CET). Have a wonderful weekend full of inspiration.


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Carpe Diem #1807 Two Hearts Become One


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Love is the ultimate emotion. I think we all agree on that. Love is positive energy and uplifts our hearts. The ultimate energy of love is ... "two hearts become one". We see that in our children for example, but there is another "thing" that can do that ... dancing ... especially the Tango.

So to inspire you I love to share a wonderful piece of music:



Isn't it wonderful?

dance of deep love
she, my lovely wife, sways
dancing the Tango
passionate couple of youngsters -
dance of deep love

© Chèvrefeuille


This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 12th at noon (CET). Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday #12 a last leaf


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

My excuses for being this late with publishing our new Tan Renga Wednesday episode. This special feature is to challenge you to create a Tan Renga from a given haiku by adding the two-lined stanza.

For this Tan Renga Wednesday I have ran trhough the archives of CDHK and found a haiku I created for the Autumn Retreat 2017, Departure, I think it's a nice haiku and I think it can become a marvelous Tan Renga.


A Last Leaf

a last leaf
swirls on the wind towards the east -
first snow falls gently

© Chèvrefeuille

This Tan Renga Wednesday is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 11th at noon (CET). Enjoy the challenge.


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Carpe Diem #1806 Unconditional Love


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our Haiku Kai. This month I love to challenge you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry forms themed LOVE. Today I love to challenge you to create Japanese poetry themed "Unconditional Love".


Unconditional Love
Unconditional Love ... is the love without limitations, everyone can give Unconditional Love.

in the garden
first cherry blossoms bloom
cherised by the sun

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 10th at noon (CET).


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Carpe Diem #1805 Introducing our new Theme ... Love month

credits logo

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. We are here to create and share Japanese poetry and this month our theme is Love. This month we celebrate Love in all its beauty. I have chosen this theme because of the fact that we celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14th, but also because I love to explore Love as a theme for haiku.

Love ... we all can relate to it I think, it's not only the love between people, but also between plants, flowers, insects, animals and the love for something. I love my wife and kids, but I also fell in love with haiku back in 1988.

As you all know haiku is about nature, deeper meaning and so on. Tanka once was the poetry of love between people, it was used as a kind of secret love-letter, and is therefore known as a love poem. Haiku ... is mostly not seen as a love poem, but this month I hope to explore it ... together with you all. Are you with me?

Love is a challenge (photo © Sachar Gilad)

Love is one of the most important emotions I think, and Unconditional Love is what we need here on our planet, because unconditional love has no boundaries and will always reach out to other people around you and around the world.

without boundaries
I open my heart to spread love
on wings of birds

© Chèvrefeuille

With love we can reach out towards people around us. Love is really the only way to spread peace all over the globe.

Spread love,

Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 9th at noon (CET)


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #114 Renga With ... beach diamonds


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

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend meditation here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, that nice special feature for the weekend. I think you all have noticed that I didn't publish on last Thursday and Friday, my excuses for that, I had a very busy (and tough) week, so I hadn't time to publish on those days.

This weekend I love to challenge you to create a Renga with several haiku poets. Your task is to add the two-lined stanza towards it. You can choose your own "line-up", but have to start with the haiku I will give first. So this Renga With ... is a kind of Hineri, with a twist.

Here are the six haiku to use, the first given haiku has to be your hokku (starting verse) and is a beauty created by Jane Reichhold (1937-2016).

beach diamonds
a new day crystallized
in sunny surf foam

© Jane Reichhold

cold spring breeze
makes the cherry blossom shiver
one heartbeat long

© Chèvrefeuille



The wind from Mt. Fuji
I put it on the fan.
Here, a souvenir from Edo

© Basho (Tr. Ryu Yotsuya)

watch birth and death:
the lotus has already
opened its flower.

© Soseki Natsume (Tr. Soiku Shigematsu)




dervishes whirling
- seeking a higher consciousness
third eye opens

© Chèvrefeuille

flute melodies
across green ocean waves
spring meadows

© Jane Reichhold

Six wonderful haiku to work with I think, not an easy task, but I think and belief that you all can do it. Enjoy this Renga With ...

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday February 2nd at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 9th at noon (CET). Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Wednesday #11 family tombstone


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Wednesday again ... time for a new Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday, that special feature in which I challenge you to complete a Tan Renga with a given haiku by a classical or non-classical haiku poet.

Your task is to add your two lined stanza (approx. 7-7 syllables) through association on the scenes and images in the given haiku. This week I have chosen a haiku by a modern haiku poet, Nicholas Virgilio.

Tombstones

Here is the haiku to work with:

adding father’s name
to the family tombstone
with room for my own

© Nicholas Virgilio

And now it's up to you to create a Tan Renga with this haiku by adding your two-lined stanza. Enjoy the challenge.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 4th at noon (CET).


Monday, January 27, 2020

Carpe Diem #1804 New Beginnings ... candlelight


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Yes ... another episode of our wonderful Kai, because I was late with our Monday episode, "snowdrops".

Today I love to challenge you two times. I love to challenge you to create a "fusion-ku" with two given haiku and to create a Troiku with your new "fusion-ku". I have chosen two haiku by Jane Reichhold extracted from her online Saijiki "A Dictionary of Haiku", section New Year.

Here are the two haiku to work with:

a new year
rising from wild seas
a few stars

filling
the glass with candlelight
champagne

© Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)

Champagne and Candlelight (© photo Isabella Cabre)

Two beautiful haiku by the Queen of Haiku (and Tanka), Jane Reichhold. She was once my co-host and taught me a lot about all kinds of Japanese poetry ... I miss her still.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 3rd at noon (CET). Have fun!


Carpe Diem #1803 New Beginnings ... snowdrops


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. This month it's about New Beginnings and it means all things that start new. Today I have chosen the prompt "snowdrops", those beautiful small white flowers that start blooming in Winter already ... Snowdrops are the first signs that Spring is near.

Snowdrops (image found on Pinterest)

snowdrops blooming
waving goodbye to Winter
nearly Spring

© Chèvrefeuille

Look at those beauties ... so fragile, but strong.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 2nd at noon (CET). Enjoy the fun!


Saturday, January 25, 2020

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #113 Troiku Hineri ... at dawn


!! Open for your submissions Sunday January 26th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The last days were very busy, so I couldn't publish or regular Friday episode and a bit late with the Weekend Meditation. My excuses for it.

This weekend I love to challenge you to create a Troiku Hineri. What doea it mean? I will give you a haiku. With that haiku you create a Troiku. Than you have three new haiku. The Hineri (with a twist) is that I love to challenge you to create with those three new haiku NINE new haiku following the Troiku idea, so you have to create three new haiku from every haiku you created from the given haiku.



I have chosen one of the first haiku by Yozakura, the Unknown Haiku Poet. Here is his first haiku to work with:

yoake ni arau tsuyude watashino ashisaichoubi

at dawn
I wash my feet with dew
the longest day

© Yozakura (1640-1716)

A nice challenge I think for this weekend. Have an awesome weekend!

This Weekend Meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday January 26th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 2nd at noon (CET).


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Carpe Diem #1802 New Beginnings ... without beginning


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you think "What?" because of the title of this new episode "without beginning". Maybe it brings you ideas of that classical dillema "What was first the chicken or the egg", but no ... that's not the dillema here.

"Without beginning" points towards the circle, or the wedding ring. The wedding ring is a milestone, it's a new beginning, but its form ... a circle ... is without beginning. So today our prompt is related to the circle ... without beginning.

I recall an article I once read about deathpoems and one of the examples was the deathpoem by Shinsui.
During his last moment, Shisui's disciples requested that he write a death poem. He grasped his brush, painted a circle, cast the brush aside, and died. The circle— indicating the void, the essence of everything, enlightenment— is one of the most important symbols of Zen Buddhism.


Deathpoem by Shinsui (* - 1769)

Isn't it a wonderful deathpoem? But as we look closer to this deathpoem ... we see were Shinsui started the "circle" (at the 'bottom' somewhat to the left, we can see the start of the brush). Does this mean a circle has a beginning and an end?

eternal circle
lotuses blooming and decaying -
ancient wisdom grows

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 29th at noon (CET). Have fun!


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Wednesday #10 such a cold night


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Wednesday again and that means ... time for a new episode of our special feature Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Wednesday. The challenge of this special feature is to create a Tan Renga with a given haiku by adding your second stanza of two lines (approx. 7-7 syllables). This week I have chosen a not so well known haiku by, my master, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694).

kazuki fusu futon ya samuki yo ya sugoki

lying down
with quilts over the head
such a cold night

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)


Japanese Quilt

As you can see, in this haiku Basho uses rhyme, a not so very well known haiku writing technique, because, as you maybe know, in (translated) haiku the use of rhyme isn't common (according to Western studies).

Rhyme is a major component of Western poetry. In Japan most of the sound units (onji) are built on only five vowels, and rhyming occurs naturally. Yet, haiku translated into rhymed lines often need so much padding to make the rhyme work that the simplicity of the poem gets lost. However, if the reader takes the time to read the romaji version of the above haiku by Basho. one can see how often the old master employed the linkage of sound in his work. The rhyme, in the above haiku, occurs in "kazuki", "samuki" and "sugoki"..

So that brings us a new challenge ... try to let your 2nd stanza, of two lines, rhyme too.

This Tan Renga Wednesday episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 28th at noon (CET).


Monday, January 20, 2020

Carpe Diem #1801 New Beginnings ... first cry


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

"Listen ... listen carefully ... Do you hear the first cry of a new born?" I always enjoy the first cry of a new born. That can be a new born human, but also a new born bird for example. Maybe if you have a super hearing ... you maybe can hear the first blossoms cry out their joy ...
Here in The Netherlands we have one of the warmest winters ever. There are already birds building their nests, the Daffodils are blooming ... it's a very strange happening ... maybe it's the Global warming ... maybe not ... I don't know, but it feels already like spring here in the Netherlands.

halfway winter
daffodils bloom, cherry trees almost --
first cry of a newborn


© Chèvrefeuille


Daffodils bloom

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 27th at noon (CET). Have fun!


Sunday, January 19, 2020

Carpe Diem #1800 New Beginnings ... first leaf falling


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope all have had a wonderful weekend and that you all are capable to do a new week here at CDHK. This month is themed "New Beginnings" and today I have chosen a nice prompt for you to work with.

Today I love to challenge you to create Japanese poetry themed "first leaf falling", autumn is in my opinion one of the most beautiful seasons and it's, according to classical sources of Japan, the best season to see the moon and praise her beauty. Autumn ... gives me always the feeling of departure and letting go ... Leaves are coloring and finally fall ...

light of the full moon
silverly beautiful ... so fragile
leaves are falling


© Chèvrefeuille




This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 26th at noon (CET). Have fun!


Friday, January 17, 2020

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #112 Transformation ... sketching from life (Shiki's Shasei technique)


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

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new Weekend Meditation here at our wonderful Haiku Kai, the place to be if you like to create Japanese poetry and share it with the world.

Maybe you remember that new feature I introduced a while ago "Carpe Diem Transformation" in which I challenge you to "re-build" a given haiku into a tanka. In the first episode of this feature I challenged you to "re-build" a famous haiku by Chiyo-Ni (that episode you can find HERE).

And for this weekend meditation I have chosen a haiku by that other famous haiku master, Masaoka Shiki. In this episode I love to challenge you to re-create a haiku by Shiki into a Tanka. Maybe you can remember that Shiki has a certain haiku writing technique named "shasei". Let me introduce this technique again here.

Japanese Stamp with an image of Shiki

Shasei

The word "shasei" has not yet been invented at the time of Basho, but the idea was there according to what Basho tells his disciples:

[...] Matsuo Basho advises his disciples: “Learn from the Pine!”To do that you must leave behind you all subjective prejudice. Otherwise you will force your own self onto the object and can learn nothing from it. Your poem will well-up of its own accord when you and the object become one, when you dive deep enough into the object, to discover something of its hidden glimmer. [...]

Here is an example of this Shasei technique:

Come spring as of old.
When such revenues of rice.
Braced this castle town!

© Masaoka Shiki

It's a good example of the shasei technique. What is the Shasei technique? Let me try to explain that to you all with the help of Jane Reichhold.

Sketches of Life, Tree of Life (image found on Pinterest)

Though this technique is often given Shiki's term Shasei (sketch from life) or Shajitsu (reality), it has been in use since the beginning of poetry in the Orient. The poetic principle is "to depict the thing just as it is". The reason Shiki took it up as a poetical cause, and this made it famous,  was his own rebellion against the many other techniques used in haiku. Shiki was, by nature it seemed, against whatever was the status quo - a true rebel. If older poets had overused any idea or method, it was his personal goal to point this out and suggest something else. This was followed until someone else got tired of it and suggested something new. This seems to be the way poetry styles go in and out of fashion.

Thus, Shiki hated associations, contrasts, comparisons, wordplays, puns, and riddles - all the things we are cherishing here! He favored the quiet simplicity of just stating what he saw without anything else happening in the haiku. He found the greatest beauty in the common sight, simply reported exactly as it was seen, and ninety-nine percent of his haiku written in his style. Many people still feel he was right. There are some moments that are perhaps best said as simply as possible in his way. Yet, Shiki himself realized in 1893, after writing very many haiku in this style, that used too much, even his new idea could become lackluster. So the method is an answer, but never the complete answer of how to write a haiku.

Eggplant

I hope you can relate to this Shasei technique and can work with it. This weekend I love to challenge you to re-create a haiku (in Shasei style) by Shiki into a Tanka. Here is the haiku to work with:

kaboocha yori nasu muzukashiki shasei kana

Sketching from life —
eggplants are harder to do
than pumpkins

© Masaoka Shiki (Tr. Burton Watson)

A challenging task for you this weekend. I am looking forward to all of your wonderful "transformed haiku". Have a great weekend!

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday January 19th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 26th at noon (CET).