Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Carpe Diem #680, Meadow

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As time is flowing by I am already busy with the preparing of our prompt-lists for our next months. In April we will discover the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Arjuna, part of the Mahābhārata; in May we will go on trail with Matsuo Basho and in June we will have another month with modern kigo for summer as distilled from Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku", but that's all for later on.

Ok back to our Haiga Festival. Today our prompt is meadow and I recall that I have written more than one haiku, troiku or tanka about meadow and I found a really nice one which I wrote in June 2014. I composed this haiku in respons on one of our episodes on inspirational music. I have re-modelled it to a haiga.

warriors of the king
fighting for glory - in the meadows
the lowing of cows

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 8th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, puddles, later on. For now .... have fun, be inspired and share your haiga with us all.A wonderful haiga (how immodest), but I really like this haiga. Gives me a feeling of expansiveness as I see these meadows with that stone-circle in front of it. This photo shows the region around Drumbeg (UK) ...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #135, Santoka Taneda's "reflection" & CD's "Haiku Writing Techniques #9 "freestyle haiku"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy and what a honor it is to have the possibility to introduce a haiku-poet who lived in almost the same time-period as Masaoka Shiki. Shiki was the "name-giver" of our beloved haiku, but this featured haiku poet this month was the "builder" of the "free-style haiku". "Free-style haiku"? And this is also a new episode of our "Haiku Writing Techniques" about the "freestyle" haiku.

Free-style haiku in this case is based on the teachings of another great haiku poet, Ogiwara Seisensui (1884-1976), who was a strong proponent of abandoning haiku traditions, especially the "season words" so favored by Takahama Kyoshi (1874-1959), and even the 5-7-5 syllable norms. In his Haiku teisho (1917) (a kind of Zen Sermon on Haiku), he broke with Hekigoto (1873-1937) and shocked the haiku world by advocating further that haiku be transformed into free verse. His students included Ozaki Hōsai (1885-1926) and Santōka Taneda (1882-1940), our featured haiku poet this month. His (Seisensui) role in promoting the format of free-style haiku has been compared with that of Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) for traditional verse, with the contrast that Seisensui was blessed with both vigorous health, and considerable wealth. He also was able to use new media to promote his style, including lectures and literary criticism on national radio.

Ok ... that's the introduction to this new Carpe Diem Special. Now let me tell you a little bit more about Santoka Taneda, our featured haiku-poet this month. (Of course you can find information about him at the page of our March prompt-list too).

Santoka once said: "Days I don't enjoy: any day I don't walk, drink sake, and compose haiku."
And here is another quote of a saying by Santoka:
"Westerners try to conquer the mountains. People of the East contemplate the mountains. For us, mountains are not an object of scientific study but a work of art. Patiently I taste the mountains."


Santoka is considered a unique proponent of "free-style" haiku poetry, a mode that abandoned much of the customary form and subject matter of traditional haiku in favor of a direct and unadorned depiction of human experience. He was also, as e.g. Matsuo Basho, a wandering poet and ascetic Zen priest for the last fifteen years of his life, Santoka emphasized many of the essential qualities of Zen Buddhism in his verse, including mujo (impermanence), the necessity of sabi (solitude), the importance of simplicity in life, and the pervasive sadness that accompanies all human affairs. Many of his poems point toward the Zen goal of overcoming this ubiquitous melancholy by achieving spiritual enlightenment and serenity. To this view Santoka added his concern with what was called "the vital necessity of movement and the partial release it brings to the anguish of the soul."

So as you can read we are on a journey through the poetry, the freestyle haiku, of Santoka Taneda this month. I think he will bring us some insight in how haiku has evolved from the 19th to the 21st century ... without the strong rules as known for our classical haiku ... this month will be "freestyling with haiku".
Santoka  Taneda (1882-1940)
Here is the first "freestyle haiku" by Santoka Taneda. (SMT refers to his work Somokuto - Grass Tree Stupa).I found two (very) different translation for this first haiku, reflection:

mizu ni kage aru tabibito de aru (SMT)

in the water
a traveler
my shadow
on the water,
traveler I am

Both are great, but personally I prefer the first version the most, it even could have been written shorter than this one:

My "freestyle-haiku" translation, would be like something as this:

in water

© Chèvrefeuille

Santoka Taneda was, as Basho was, a traveling haiku-poet. He traveled clothed like a Zen-Buddhist monk and he also wrote his "adventures" in a haibun. On his first journey in 1926 he started a three years walk in which he visited a great part of the 88 temples on Shikoku-Island (which we also visited virtualy in February and March 2014) and visited the gravesite of a deceased friend and follower of Seisensui, Ozaki Hōsai (1885–1926).

yakisutete nikki no hai no kore dake ka

now they’re burned
these are all the ashes
from my diaries (*)?

(*)Santoka burned the diaries from his first trip because he was ashamed of what he had written.

It's quit a story and I think we will have a lot of fun with this haiku poet ... I love to tell you (again) the goal of these CD-Specials, especially for our new family-members, ... The goal is to write/ compose an all new haiku inspired on this haiku by Taneda Santoka and try to catch the same sense, tone and spirit as the one shared here. You may write a classical or non-classical haiku or as Taneda Santoka was in favour of ... a "freestyle haiku".

Here is my attempt, (again) a tanka:

after the rainstorm
reflections of blue sky and clouds
in muddy waters
raindrops - rhythmic art of nature
in the pond circles fade

© Chèvrefeuille

Is it possible that I am attracted by tanka? Am I becoming a tanka-addict? No ... don't worry ... I am just trying to master this nice Japanese poetry form ... I will be a haiku-poet always, but I have to try something else sometimes and now that's tanka.

I hope you did like this post about our featured haiku-poet and the "freestyle-haiku" and I hope you will like the challenge to write/compose an all new haiku inspired on this haiku by Santoka Taneda ... with using the "freestyle-haiku" have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 6th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, meadow, later on. For now ... have fun!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Carpe Diem #679, Light

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a nice month this will be ... I already have seen wonderful and beautiful haiga and I am proud on all of you. I asked myself "Can poets be painters too?" and I can only say that's correct they can also paint and make great photos. We (haiku-poets) aren't only painters with words, but also with images ... great.

Today I have a nice prompt for you all and I think this prompt will inspire you ... today our prompt is light and that can mean different things ... it can be "light according to weight", "light according to day", "light according to Creation" or "light according to awakening of the Inner Self, the Inner Wisdom". So I think this episode could become a nice spiritual episode ...
Maybe you can remember this haiku which I wrote in March 2013:

on the verandah
in the light of a Spring lantern

writing haiku

writing haiku

inspired on the wonderful sunset
a Spring evening

Or this one which I wrote in that same year as the above around the Vernal Equinox:

celebrating the sun
with narcissus flowers in my hair -
Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox
day and night the same lenght
departing Winter

In these haiku you can sense the underlying (deeper) spiritual meaning of light ... I have taken the spiritual path for this prompt light. Spirituality has a very significant relation with light. As light signifies the supreme power/energy which is moving this whole earth, planet and universe. Though significance of light is the Light which is inside of us. This light is there till the person is alive and it is this light which goes when the person is considered lifeless.
In spirituality this light is seen as the essence of God in every human being and he/she can actually see it within if they have received the technique to go within which is self-knowledge.

And here is my haiga for this episode:

the night deepens
darker and darker the sky
without the streetlights
the night sky looks like a light show
the full moon and thousands of stars

© Chèvrefeuille

Again a tanka, but this one you already knew I think because I published it recently in September 2014. I had taken a photo of the full moon, but it wasn't a great photo, so for this one I have borrowed an image somewhere from the internet. I couldn't retrieve the credits.

Well ... it was not a long post this time, but I liked making it. So I hope this episode will inspire you all to compose, create a haiga ... have fun! This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 6th at noon (CET). I will (try to) post our next episode, our first haiku written by our featured haiku poet, Santoka Taneda, later on.

Carpe Diem Extra 2015-11 An announcement by Dolores

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Dolores of Ada’s Poetry Alcove has asked me to publish the following on our Haiku Kai:

I am having a poetry challenge and there is one week left. I was wondering if you would announce it to the Carpe Diem poets.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Glass #23, Bamboo

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Sunday again and that means ... time for another time challenging Tima Glass episode in which I challenge you all to write a haiku (or tanka) inspired on a given prompt and image within 24 hours.
This week, because of our Haiga Festival, I have chosen to challenge you with the following prompt "BAMBOO" and with a haiga which I have made a while ago (December 2013). By the way the haiku used in this haiga is far older than the haiga ... the haiku is a translation of a (Dutch) haiku which I wrote somewhere in the nineties..

So .... this Time Glass episode has the prompt BAMBOO and you have to/may use the haiga for your inspiration.

Share your inspired haiku (or tanka, or haiga) within 24 hours with us all here at our Haiku Kai. This Time Glass episode starts tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will end on Monday March 2nd at 7.00 PM (CET). So you have just 24 hours to respond. Not an easy task, but it can train you in catching the moment, the impression, as long as a heartbeat.

Carpe Diem #678, Happiness

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy it was to see your first haiga submissions ... it makes me really happy that we also can explore this wonderful part of the Japanese poetry ... really awesome. Today our prompt is happiness and there is a lot to say about "happiness", but I have focused on the spiritual meaning of happiness ... I found a really awesome article about happiness at Wikipedia. I love to share a part of that here:

The Chinese Confucian thinker Mencius, who 2300 years ago sought to give advice to the ruthless political leaders of the warring states period, was convinced that the mind played a mediating role between the "lesser self" (the physiological self) and the "greater self" (the moral self) and that getting the priorities right between these two would lead to sage-hood. He argued that if we did not feel satisfaction or pleasure in nourishing one's "vital force" with "righteous deeds", that force would shrivel up (Mencius,6A:15 2A:2). More specifically, he mentions the experience of intoxicating joy if one celebrates the practice of the great virtues, especially through music.
Credits: Happiness
In the Nicomachean Ethics, written in 350 BCE, Aristotle stated that happiness (also being well and doing well) is the only thing that humans desire for its own sake, unlike riches, honor, health or friendship. He observed that men sought riches, or honor, or health not only for their own sake but also in order to be happy. Note that eudaimonia, the term we translate as "happiness", is for Aristotle an activity rather than an emotion or a state. Thus understood, the happy life is the good life, that is, a life in which a person fulfills human nature in an excellent way. Specifically, Aristotle argues that the good life is the life of excellent rational activity. He arrives at this claim with the Function Argument. Basically, if it's right, every living thing has a function, that which it uniquely does. For humans, Aristotle contends, our function is to reason, since it is that alone that we uniquely do. And performing one's function well, or excellently, is one's good. Thus, the life of excellent rational activity is the happy life. Aristotle does not leave it that, however. For he argues that there is a second best life for those incapable of excellent rational activity. This second best life is the life of moral virtue.

According to St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, man's last end is happiness: "all men agree in desiring the last end, which is happiness." Aquinas agreed with Aristotle that happiness cannot be reached solely through reasoning about consequences of acts, but also requires a pursuit of good causes for acts, such as habits according to virtue. In turn, which habits and acts that normally lead to happiness is according to Aquinas caused by laws: natural law and divine law. These laws, in turn, were according to Aquinas caused by a first cause, or God.

Credits: Happiness (2) Oil-painting Leonid Afremov
And, because of the Buddhist background of haiku I also love to share the ideas about happiness as stated from Buddhism:

Happiness forms a central theme of Buddhist teachings. For ultimate freedom from suffering, the Noble Eightfold Path leads its practitioner to Nirvana, a state of everlasting peace. Ultimate happiness is only achieved by overcoming craving in all forms. More mundane forms of happiness, such as acquiring wealth and maintaining good friendships, are also recognized as worthy goals for lay people. Buddhism also encourages the generation of loving kindness and compassion, the desire for the happiness and welfare of all beings.

simple happiness
cherry blossoms bloom again -
spring is near

© Chèvrefeuille

No haiga by me this episode, but I hope that this post on "happiness" will inspire you all to create a beautiful haiga and share it with us all.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 5th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, light, later on.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Carpe Diem #677, companionship

!!! I have solved the problem !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at an all new month of Carpe Diem. This month we will have a special month, because this  month we will have our first Haiga-Festival month. What does that mean?
You have to respond on the prompts given with a haiga (picture & haiku/tanka) and of course the picture has to be one of your own, so you must have the copyright of it.
I realise that this will take a little bit more time, so this month I will prolong the responding time of every episode (except the CD-Special, CD-Little Creatures, Sparkling Stars and Time Glass) with 24 hours. I hope that will be enough extra time to respond.

Today our first prompt is companionship and it speaks for it's own I think, but I will try to explain why I have chosen for this prompt to start with. I have chosen for this prompt because I feel like we are all companions on the road to perfecting our haiku (and tanka) skills and I am glad with that companionship. And I remembered my first English haiku ever "a single flower / my companion / for one night" and that haiku I will use for inspiration for this episode ... to compose a tanka (smiles).

cherry blossom
accompanied by a snail
making the day
climbing and growing to the light
that's companionship

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Yes ... I almost can hear you all think "Chèvrefeuille composed a tanka!" Yes I am ... I am trying to master this poetry form also ... and so I will try them more often this month.
Well ... I hope you all did like this post and I am looking forward to all of your wonderful haiga ... have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 4th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, happiness, later on.

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #19, James A. Emanuel (1921-2013) "jazz-haiku"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time again for our bi-weekly feature "Sparkling Stars" in which I share haiku (or tanka) composed by classical and non-classical haiku-poets and today I have chosen for a haiku written by a modern American haiku-poet (the founder of "jazz-haiku") James A. Emanuel who has passed away in 2013. I love to honor him with this episode of Sparkling Stars.

James A. Emanuel was born June 15, 1921, in Alliance, Nebraska. He earned a B.A. from Howard University, an M.A. from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Among his books of poetry are Jazz from the Haiku King (1999), De la rage au coeur, (Thaon, 1992, translated by Jean Migrenne and Amiot Lenganey), Whole Grain: Collected Poems, 1958-1989 (1990), The Quagmire Effect (1988), Deadly James and Other Poems (1987), The Broken Bowl: New and Uncollected Poems (1983), Black Man Abroad: The Toulouse Poems (1978), and At Bay (1969). He is also the author of Langston Hughes (1967) and the editor, with Theodore L. Gross, of Dark Symphony: Negro Literature in America (1968). Emanuel's essays and other writings have been included in many anthologies and periodicals. Among his honors are a John Hay Whitney Award, a Saxton Memorial Fellowship, and a Special Distinction Award from the Black American Literature Forum. James Emanuel has been a professor of English at the University of Grenoble and the University of Toulouse, among other universities. He lived in Paris at the time of his passing (September 28, 2013). (Biography from the Academy of American Poets website.)
James A. Emauel (1921-2013)
From: Whole Grain : Collected Poems, 1958-1989; Lotus Press, Detroit, 1991; with translations by Jean Migrenne.[…] In 1992 in “Le Barry,” the country home of the Plassard family in southwest France, where I have now and then composed poetry for over twenty-five years, I planned an apparently new literary genre, the “jazz haiku”. My “breakaway haiku” in Deadly James and Other Poems (1987) had begun my experiments with the Japanese 3-line form, adhering to its 5-7-5 syllabic pattern, but widening its sensory impact beyond the capacity of the usual single impression. My haiku added the toughness of poverty and racial injustice, the declarative emphasis made possible by narrative style, and the technical challenge of time. […] © James A. Emanuel. 
Here are a few haiku written by
James A. Emanuel, this series of four (4) haiku is about Mahalia Jackson.

« I sing the LORD'S songs »
(psalms once tough to stay alive,
alarm clock on five).

Cinnamon cheeks, Lord,
cornbread smile.     SONGS     feed your ribs
when you're hungry, chile.

Washboard certainties,
soldierly grace, text and style
in her brimming face.

Your hand on your heart,
her voice in your ear:     pilgrim,
rest easy.     Sit here.

This is a wonderful modern American haiku-poet who passed away in 2013 leaving a rich oeuvre of poetry behind which you can find on several websites. I love to share this haiku with you all as a kind of tribute to James A. Emanuel, the founder of “Jazz-haiku”.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) (Dutch website)
after the fall of the wall
visiting East Berlin with my love
and all that jazz

© Chèvrefeuille

I remember visiting a Jazzkeller in East Berlin short after the fall of the Berlin Wall ... it was a great experience and it felt great to be there ... The artist than I recall played a piece of Jazz-music which I knew from Duke Ellington. A video of that piece of music you can see here after.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Saturday March 7th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Carpe Diem #676, The Orchard

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is our last episode of our Impressionism month ... I am a bit sad, but I am also excited, because we start with a new month full of wonder. For this last episode I have chosen a impressionism painting by Camille Pissarro, the father of impressionism, the father of divers impressionism painters.

Camille Pissarro (French: [kamij pisaʁo]; 10 July 1830 – 13 November 1903) was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.
In 1873 he helped establish a collective society of fifteen aspiring artists, becoming the "pivotal" figure in holding the group together and encouraging the other members. Art historian John Rewald called Pissarro the "dean of the Impressionist painters", not only because he was the oldest of the group, but also "by virtue of his wisdom and his balanced, kind, and warmhearted personality". Cézanne said "he was a father for me. A man to consult and a little like the good Lord," and he was also one of Gauguin's masters. Renoir referred to his work as "revolutionary", through his artistic portrayals of the "common man", as Pissarro insisted on painting individuals in natural settings without "artifice or grandeur".
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Pissarro is the only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886. He "acted as a father figure not only to the Impressionists" but to all four of the major Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.
Credits: Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes (1872) - Camille Pissarro
This guy is awesome I think and I like his features ... look that beard, those eyes with the wrinkles a great image of him. To me he looks really like a father-figure ... and I had never heard of him, but his paintings I knew ...
And this particular one is one of his masterpieces worth to be honored with a masterpiece haiku ... can I do that? I have to try ..., but let me first look at a few haiku about "the orchard" by other haiku poets. I have found two wonderful haiku written by two modern haiku poets, I couldn't retrieve an e-mail-address, so I credit them (as I always do by the way):

Heavy rain all night—
with closed eyes I see
the orchard, the dripping leaves.

Billy Collins (From “She was just seventeen”)

Flowering orchard,
born again every year.
I welcome the blossoms

Herman van Rompuy (former president of the EU)

Well ... I think these haiku are great and really wonderful ... and now I have to write/compose one myself ...

harvesting apples
in the backyard of my granddad
the old orchard

(c) Chèvrefeuille
Vincent Van Gogh, The Olive Orchard 1889
Credits: The Olive Orchard - Vincent Van Gogh 1889

sweet perfume
harvesting the ripe olives
to make oil

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This was our last episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai this month ... it was a pleasure and a joy to be your host (this month together with Jen of Blog It Or Lose It) and I have enjoyed all of your wonderful haiku and tanka and not to forget the beautiful haibun and even sometimes a troiku ... really it was an awesome month. I am proud to be your host, and I feel humble that I may be your host here at CDHK. I am looking forward to our new month of Carpe Diem in which we will become our own "impressionists", because March will be the month of our Haiga Festival.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 2nd at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, companionship, later on.

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #75, MMT's "first yellow blossom"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to make another Tan Renga Challenge (TRC) for you. I can't even believe that it is already Friday again. Time flies. As you all maybe know ... last week I started with my new task at Mindlovemisery's Menagerie by writing the Fairy Tale prompt ... so I have a little bit less time for CDHK, but of course CDHK will stay my most important "job" (next to my work as an oncology nurse).

This week I have chosen a haiku composed by MMT of Tales from a Sonoran Desert Classroom and she wrote that haiku in response on our Time Machine prompt "yellow" (hosted by Jen). Why have I chosen for her haiku this week? Well .... recently I saw the very first yellow blossoms of the Forsythia ... and short after that I read this wonderful haiku by MMT. Coincedence? No I think not her haiku needed to be used for our Tan Renga Challenge ... and so it will happen.

Here is MMT's haiku which is the starting verse (hokku) of this week's Tan Renga Challenge:

first yellow blossom
sprouting from a slender branch—
Buddha bows his head

© Magical Mystical Teacher

Credits: Forsythia
It's a very nice haiku, but it will not be easy to write a second stanza (two lines, 7-7) towards it to complete or continue it. As I look at myself ... I have to contemplate a little about this haiku to "re-form" it into a Tan Renga ... so I leave this episode of our Tan Renga Challenge without writing my own second stanza towards it at this moment.

This episode of our TRC is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Friday March 6th at noon (CET). Have fun!