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.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Cape Diem's Time Challenge 2 Super Moon

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... I had promised you a more frequent episode of this new feature, but I couldn't find the time. One of my co-workers has had a heart attack, so I had to take over several of her shifts and that took a lot of my time. So my excuses for not following my promise. I will try to publish our new Time Challenge feature every Saturday, so once a week.

Let me tell you our goal for this feature: The goal is to create a haiku, tanka or other Japanese poem inspired on a given theme. You have limited time to respond, only 48 hours! So a "real" time challenge.

On May 7th we had a Super Flower Full Moon, so that's our theme for this new Time Challenge.

Super Flower Full Moon (May 7th, 2020)
Your goal is to create a haiku, tanka or other Japanese poem themed Super Moon or Super Flower Full Moon within 48 hours.

I found one in my archives:

missing it again
only heavy clouds and a faint red
no super blood moon

© Chèvrefeuille

You can submit your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poem until May 11th 11:55 PM (CEST), so you have only 48 hours to respond.

You can click on our logo at the end of this episode, it will bring you to the Linking Widget.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Carpe Diem's Time Challenge ... remake of our Time Glass feature 1 first blossoms

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During Covid-19 crisis I have done CDHK in Lock Down too, but now we see all around that the Lock Down is brought to lower rules, therefore I love to give you a new challenging feature. It's not completely new, because we have had the CDHK Time Glass feature back in our history, this new challenging feature is a "remake" of that feature.

The goal is to create a haiku, tanka or other Japanese poem inspired on a given theme. You have limited time to respond, only 48 hours! So a "real" time challenge. To bring this new feature up and running I will publish every 48 hours, a new Time Challenge.

Today I have chosen for the theme "First Blossom". Post your inspired poetry within 48 hours here at CDHK through the linking widget below (click on our Logo).

fading moonlight
caresses fragile blossoms
finally spring

© Chèvrefeuille

This Time Challenge starts NOW and will run until Monday May 4th 11:55 PM (CEST). Have fun! Add your post by clicking on the CDHK logo below (it will bring you to Blenza, a website that provides the linking widget for this new feature)

Monday, April 27, 2020

Carpe Diem Extra April 27th 2020 - update CDHK "lock-down"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It has been a while that I did CDHK in "Lock-Down", because of my busy life as a healthcare worker during Covid-19. It seems that the Covid-19 pandemic is on its return, at least here in Europe and especially in The Netherlands, but in healthcare we are still very busy.
Patients from hospitals are now being transferred to the nursing home where I am working, so I will stay very busy the upcoming weeks. Therefore I have decided to stay in our CDHK "Lock-Down" for a few weeks. I hope to publish again in about, say ... 2 or 3 weeks. Sorry for this, but I need to focus on my work as a healthcare worker.

feeling lonesome
missing the warm embrace of family -
stay safe

© Chèvrefeuille, your host

Take care my beloved CDHK family

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Carpe Diem Extra -- March 18th 2020 --- CDHK Lock Down

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I think you all have noticed that I haven't posted this week, or not that much this month. Let me explain it, but I think you all will know.

As you all know I am an oncology nurse and with the Corona virus spreading all over the world it is all hands on deck with caring for our patients, and in my case, the elderly people. So I don't have time anymore to publish our regular posts. You can say that "Carpe Diem Haiku Kai goes in Lock Down.

a summer drink
now turned into a plague
spreading ...

© Chèvrefeuille

I am dearly sorry that I have to "Lock Down" our wonderful Haiku Kai, but ...

Take care my beloved haiku family.