Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday #16 Basho's "karumi"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our special feature Tan Renga Wednesday. Today I have a nice "karumi" haiku by Basho. As you maybe know ... it was Basho's lifetime long goal to share his idea of "karumi". More about "karumi" you can find HERE.

What is karumi?

Bashô developed this concept during his final travels in 1693. Karumi is perhaps one of the most important and least understood principles of haiku poetry. Karumi can best be described as “lightness,” or a sensation of spontaneity. In many ways, karumi is a principle rooted in the “spirit” of haiku, rather than a specific technique. Bashô taught his students to think of karumi as “looking at the bottom of a shallow stream”. When karumi is incorporated into haiku, there is often a sense of light humor or child-like wonderment at the cycles of the natural world. Many haiku using karumi are not fixed on external rules, but rather an unhindered expression of the poet’s thoughts or emotions. This does not mean that the poet forgets good structure; just that the rules of structure are used in a natural manner. In my opinion, karumi is “beyond” technique and comes when a poet has learned to internalize and use the principles of the art interchangeably.

Here is the "karumi" haiku to work with:

White chrysanthemum
I look holding it straight
no dust at all

© Basho

Now it is up to you to make a Tan Renga with this haiku by adding your two-lined stanza of approx. 7-7 syllables.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 11th at noon (CET). Have fun!

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