Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Carpe Diem Celebrates its 8th anniversary - Carpe Diem 1829 Introduction to a new month.


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first episode of our 8th anniversary. Carpe Diem Haiku Kai celebrates its 8th anniversary this month. I started CDHK back in 2012, just for fun and to promote haiku, the Japanese poetry form to which I am addicted since 1988.

The goal was to give visitors the possibility to create haiku (and tanka) by giving them a theme or prompt. I remember that I published my first post on the same date as today, so our celebration should start today, but ... well October 1st 2012 ... was the official start of CDHK.

streaming through the leaves
lightening my path

© Chèvrefeuille

Haiku, the shortest poem on Earth, at least as far as I know, caught me back in 1988. I never had heard about it until a fellow student told me about haiku. She gave me a Dutch book about Haiku ... I read that book several times, even that often, that the book is almost falling apart.

young moon
reflects on the pages
a touch of haiku

© Chèvrefeuille

The above image shows you the cover of that Haiku Book I told you about. It's written by the Dutch haiku poet J. van Tooren and is titled "Haiku, een jonge maan" (Haiku, a young moon).
That book was (and still is) my "bible" for haiku, next to the four books by H.G. Blyth, haiku.

Without those books I would never have started with writing haiku. Haiku ... yeah it's my poetry. That love for Haiku was the reason to start CDHK ... I had never thought that CDHK would be still online after 8 years. Awesome!

I don't have a real theme for this episode, but maybe you can write a nice festive haiku or tanka:

a new day rises
the song of birds awakening me
brings joy to my heart

© Chèvrefeuille

Celebrate this month, our 8th anniversary, with us all. Let us create a wonderful festive month ...

cherry blossoms bloom
nature's beautiful celebration -
enjoying the view

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 4th at 10:00 pm (CEST). Celebrate our 8th anniversary. You can add your submission by clicking on our logo hereafter.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Carpe Diem Time Challenge #3 Moorland


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had some spare time, so I thought I create a little teaser for you. So therefore I choose an episode of our special feature "Carpe Diem Time Challenge", that unique feature in which I challenge you to create a haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form with a theme within 48 hours. Normally I give you only 24 hours but today's Time Challenge you can respond to within 48 hours.

This Sunday I have chosen a nice theme I think ... "Moorland" ... In this time of year, at least on the Northern Hemisphere the moorlands are in full bloom. I love the moorlands ... it's a joy to roam about the moorlands. I love all those colors, the silence and the vistas ...

the moorlands
just me

© Chèvrefeuille

Wandering the moorlands ... so relaxing, being one with nature, its beauty and the silence. I can smell the heather, hear the birds sing, touch the fragile flowers of the heather ... all my senses open up again.

ah! the silence
only the birds and me
wandering the moorlands

© Chèvrefeuille


And now ... it is up to you to create your masterpiece within 48 hours.

This Time Challenge is NOW OPEN and will remain open until September 22nd at noon (CEST). Enjoy! You can add your submission to the linking widget below (click on the CDHK logo).

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Carpe Diem Preview: A taste of Basho's school for haiku, our new feature, soon to come: Hosomi


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I just had to publish a post, just ... because it has been a while. As I told you in our recent CDHK Extra post I will start with a new feature here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. That new feature is titled "Basho's School at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai".

In this new feature I hope to share the knowledge of Basho, as he taught at his school. I am looking forward to that new feature, and today I love to give you already a "taste" of it.


Poets are often seen as highly sensitive people, people that can hear and see what ordinary people don't hear or see, as if poets have a thin thread bound to the heart of the essence of life, connected with all and everything around them. Poets have the gift to see the most tiny things around them, think for example about that gorgeous haiku by Basho about "Shepherd's Purse":

furu hata ya nazuna hana saku kakine kana

if you look closely
a Sheperd's Purse flowering
underneath the hedge

© Matsuo Basho (1686)

In Basho's School this hyper-sensitivity is called "hosomi". Poets who are enlightened can find that inner spot to become one with their surroundings, one with nature, as if they are becoming part of it. A kind of hyper-sensitivity for that what you cannot see and that's not visible for others.

Part of this "hosomi" we can see in several haiku by classical haiku poets. An example:

a breath of fresh air -
the voice of the pine trees
fills the empty sky

© Ueshima Onitsura (1661-1738) (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

In this beautiful haiku by Onitsura we read, what is called "hosomi" ... "the voice of the pine trees, fills the empty sky". This is what "hosomi" is. 

In Western poetry, "hosomi", is the same like "hyperbole" or "exaggeration". Exaggeration is used already several decates to create haiku with. So let us look at another example, maybe you can see the "hyperbole" or "exaggeration".

is that the murmur of the mist -
that almost imperceptible
there among the birches?

© Mizuhara Shuoshi (1822-1981) (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

I think this "hosomi", this "hyperbole" is a wonderful technique to use in your haiku (or tanka). The goal for this "taste of Basho's School" is to create a haiku (or tanka) in which you use this "hosomi" or "hyperbole".

Here is my haiku in which I hope you can see this "hosomi", this "hyperbole":

deep silence
I can hear the grass grow -
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille, your host.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions. You can click on our logo (at the bottom of this episode) to submit your haiku in which you use this "hosomi", this "hyperbole" haiku writing technique.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Carpe Diem Extra - September 17th 2020


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize for not being present here the last few months. I had hoped to restart after Corona, but we have had another outbreak in the facility were I am working as an oncology nurse. So there was no time to be productive for CDHK.

I hope to restart our CDHK on October 1st 2020, that will be our 8th anniversary month. Eight years ago I started this website to spread the haiku and other Japanese poetry forms and I am glad that CDHK is still here.

Next month as we will celebrate our 8th anniversary all our prompts will be prompts we have had in our rich history.

I will however change a few things. I will only publish on weekdays. So there will not be a weekend-meditation anymore. Ofcourse several special features like "Renga With ..." and the "Tan Renga Wednesday" will be present. I also hope to start a new feature titled "Basho's School of Haiku".

I hope to see you all again here at CDHK and I hope we can continuing with the joy of writing haiku and other Japanese poetry forms.

Our New Logo For October 2020

Hope to see you all again in our anniversary month.


Chèvrefeuille, your host