Monday, July 20, 2020

Carpe Diem Exploring The Beauty Of Haiku #1828 Baransu (balance)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Kai. This month we are exploring the beauty of haiku. That means I challenge you to create haiku (only haiku) with certain kinds of haiku writing techniques, as we have seen here many times.

For this episode I challenge you to create a haiku with the so called "baransu" (balance) haiku writing technique. Let me explain the "baransu" technique in short. As you maybe know we are familiair with the Tan Renga, the two stanza Renga, in which we try to create the second stanza through association on the scenes in the first stanza.

With the "baransu" technique we are doing the same thing, but than through association on the separated lines of the haiku. With the "baransu" technique we can bring balance in our haiku.

Let me give you an example:

'a walk through the city' ... in this line we see already a few possible things to associate on e.g. "walk" and "city". I have chosen to use "walk" to associate on.
'step by step I discover' ... in this line the possible associations can be on "step" and "discover". I have chosen to use "discover" and came to this third line:
'a newly built world'
Let me bring the three lines to each other, than the following haiku will be formed:

a walk through the city
step by step I discover
a newly built world

© Chèvrefeuille

The above haiku is, in my opinion, Baransu, in balance. That balance I have reached through associating on the different images in every line of the above haiku.

Another example, this time I use that renown haiku by Basho, "frogpond":

the old pond
a frog jumps into it
sound of water

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

I will start by re-producing the first line here: the old pond. What are the possibilities to associate on? I think "old" and "pond" will do. "Old" has to do with 'classic', 'yesterday', 'age', 'a long time ago'. Which one can I use? I think I will try 'yesterday' to start creating the second line of this "baransu"-haiku.
'yesterday ... Irises bloomed' .. hm nice line, but what to use to associate on? In this line I can associate on 'yesterday'. 'Irises', and 'bloomed'. 'Yesterday' has to do with time; 'Irises' are purple mostly and 'bloomed' can mean 'blossoming' or 'decay' too. I will use 'Irises' to associate on and than this line 'pops-up' 'only a faint purple'.

Now I will bring the three lines together:

the old pond
yesterday ... Irises bloomed
only a faint purple

© Chèvrefeuille

What do you think? Are these lines 'baransu', in balance? I think so, but that's just my humble opinion.

What a beautiful and challenging haiku writing technique this "baransu" is. So now it's up to you to create a "baransu" haiku. Enjoy the challenge.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 25th at 10:00 PM (CEST). You can submit your haiku by clicking on our logo below.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Carpe Diem Exploring The Beauty Of Haiku #1827 Paradox

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wondeful Kai were we are exploring the beauty of haiku this month. After the Covid-19 crisis we finally can go outside again, not only for the most important things to do like work and groceries, but also to enjoy nature again. Nature ... our most important ingredient of our haiku.

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” -  Plato, The Republic

Why this quote by Plato to start this episode? Well ... as we look at that quote we immediately see the paradox in this and I think what Plato says is true for every one. We are all intelligent people, we  are all wise, but ... we know nothing. That's sounds more negative then I meant it to be, because I think we are wise people, but we learn new things every day again.

Paradox, optical illusion (image found on Pinterest)


[...] "Paradox is the life of haiku, for in each verse some particular thing is seen, and at the same time, without loss of its individuality and separateness, its distinctive difference from all other things, it is seen as a no-thing, as all things, as an all-thing." [...] (Chèvrefeuille)

Jane Reichhold (1937-2016) wrote in her book "Writing and Enjoying Haiku" the following about "paradox":

One of the aims of haiku is to confuse the reader just enough to attract interest. Using a paradox will engage interest and give the reader something to ponder after the last word. Again, one cannot use nonsense but has to construct a true, connected-to-reality paradox. It is not easy to come up with new ones or good ones, but when it happens, one should not be afraid of using it in a haiku.

Here is an example by Jane herself:

waiting room
a patch of sunlight
wears out the chairs

© Jane Reichhold

And here is an example written by Basho (1644-1694) in which he uses paradox:

black forest
whatever you may say
a morning of snow

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Let us explore "paradox" a little bit further.  Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), writes the following about paradox, in the Philosophical Fragments:

[...] "...that one must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow. But the ultimate potentiation of every passion is always to will its own downfall, and so it is also the ultimate passion of the understanding to will the collision, although in one way or another the collision must become its downfall. This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think." [...] (Source: Wikipedia)

And what do you think of the paradox in a great painting by one of my favorite Dutch painters, M.C. Escher. Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) is one of the world's most famous graphic artists. His art is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world, as can be seen on the many web sites on the Internet. One of his most beautiful paintings (in my opinion) is titled "Paradox".

M.C. Escher's Paradox
But ... can we create a haiku with this "paradox"? Let me give it a try:

reaching for the sun
tulips bursting through the earth -
colorful rainbow

© Chèvrefeuille

Is this a "paradox"? I think so, but maybe you have another idea about it. Feel free to share it with us.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 11th 10:00 PM (CEST). You can add your submission by clicking on our logo below. Have fun!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Carpe Diem Exploring The Beauty Of Haiku #1826 Juxtaposition

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Kai. This month we are exploring the beauty of haiku through several writing techniques. Yesterday I introduced to you "apokoinou", and I have seen already a few nice submissions.

Today I love to challenge you with writing a haiku in which you use "juxtaposition". Let us first look at the meaning of "juxtaposition". Maybe you remember our series about "Haiku Writing Techniques", I reproduce a part of the episode on "juxtaposition".


Juxtaposition or in a more "visible way"; if a waiter served you a whole fish and a scoop of chocolate ice cream on the same plate, your surprise might be caused by the juxtaposition, or the side-by-side contrast, of the two foods.

Any time unlike things bump up against each other, you can describe it as a juxtaposition. Imagine a funeral mourner telling jokes graveside, and you get the idea — the juxtaposition in this case is between grief and humor. Juxtaposition of two contrasting items is often done deliberately in writing, music, or art — in order to highlight their differences.

Juxtaposition (in art)

I often hear that juxtaposition is a key to successful haiku. The contrast of two images in haiku is most often instrumental in creating resonance.

Robert Spiess, editor of 'Modern Haiku', has said the following about juxtaposition in haiku:

[...] “Juxtaposition of entities in haiku cannot be simply the throwing together of just anything; the poet must have the intuition that certain things, albeit of "opposite" characteristics, nonetheless have a resonance with each other that will evoke a revelation when they are juxtaposed in accordance with the time-tested canons and aesthetics of haiku.” [...]

An example from my archives:

perpetual snow
reflects the sunlight -
I dream of a nude beach

© Chèvrefeuille

Here another example, that renown haiku by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), "frogpond":

ancient lake . . .
a frog jumps into it
sound of water

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)


Well ... what a wonderful writing technique this is. Now it is up to you to create a haiku in which you use the "juxtaposition" technique. Enjoy!

Here is mine:

such sadness
to see tears on young leaves
the bright sunlight

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 7th at 10:00 PM (CEST). Have fun!  >>> you can add your submission by clicking on our logo here below <<<

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Carpe Diem back on track, a new month, a new theme: Exploring The Beauty Of Haiku #1825

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. After the Covid-19 crisis I am happy to start again with our Kai. There are a few changes by the way. For starters I will publish only on weekdays and your responding time I have shortened. You have to respond with your submission within five (5) days.

Ofcourse I will publish our special features again especially our nice feature "Tan Renga Challenge" and our wonderful feature "Crossroads", but those special features I will start next week.

Let me tell you a little bit about our new theme, Exploring The Beauty Of Haiku. We all love haiku and we all agree on its beauty, but maybe we can improve the beauty of haiku. As you maybe can remember, we had two times a series about "Haiku Writing Techniques", this month we will see those techniques again, but I hope to bring also new "techniques".

In this first episode after the Covid-19 crisis I love to introduce to you a writing technique that isn't renown in haiku world, but I think it's a beautiful technique. The technique we have to use for this new episode is: apokoinou. Let me explain what this technique means.


In linguistics, an apo koinou construction /æpəˈkɔɪnuː/ is a blend of two clauses through a lexical word which has two syntactical functions, one in each of the blended clauses. The clauses are connected asyndetically.

Usually the word common to both sentences is a predicative or an object in the first sentence and a subject in the second one. Such constructions are not grammatical in standard modern English, but may serve stylistic functions, such as conveying through written dialogue that a character is uneducated. In many cases, the second clause of such a construction may be seen as a relative clause whose relative pronoun has been dropped, which in English is not generally grammatical when the relative pronoun is the subject of its clause.

Let me give you an example of this technique in a "normal" sentence:

"There was no breeze came through the door". (E. Hemingway) This sentence we can "cut" in two parts, both parts are lines:

"There was no breeze", and "no breeze came through the door".

I think you all understand this "apokoinou" technique, it's a nice technique to use in our haiku. An example:

skating in the moonlight
after the dispute
the sound of windmills

© Yasuomi Koganei

Let us "break" this haiku with "apokoinou":

"skating in the moonlight after the dispute" and "after the dispute the sound of windmills". Isn't it an awesome technique?

Well and now it is up to you to create a haiku (only haiku) with this "technique" ... apokoinou. Here is my haiku with this technique:

wisteria blossom
swaying on the breeze
a purple balloon

© Chèvrefeuille

It isn't an easy technique, but I like the challenge to create haiku with this technique. I am looking forward to your responses.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 6th 10:00 PM (CEST). Enjoy this challenge. You can link your submission through the CDHK-logo below.