Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #41, Soliloquy No Renga "the spring wind!"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The first quarter of 2015 all Wednesdays were for Haiku Writing Techniques (which are now available as e-book in the right column of our Kai) and now we will return to our Ghost Writer posts on Wednesdays, however I have changed the idea behind the Ghost Writer posts. There is of course still room for Haiku Family members to write a Ghost Writer post, but in the Ghost Writer posts I will also bring back the special features of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai e.g. Carpe Diem "Little Ones", Carpe Diem "Soliloquy No Renga" and other special features we had.

This week I bring back our "Soliloquy No Renga" or in other words "Renga written by one poet". Back in 2014 somewhere in September I introduced this special feature, this "solo-renga", in a post which you can find HERE. And of course you can find some more background on Renga above in menu or by clicking HERE. I will give the starting verse (or hokku) here and the goal is to write a "solo-renga" of a maximum of 12 stanza through association on images in the divers links. So you are getting to the second stanza by associating on images in the first stanza. (See also our Haiku Writing Techniques e-book chapter 11 baransu).

Here is the hokku ... I have chosen a haiku written by myself to start this "Soliloquy No Renga":

At this moment we have a really heavy wind and I am anxious for the young cherry blossoms, yes my Sakura has bloomed and now this storm will scatter the beauty of the fragile cherry blossoms, so I have a nice starting verse, or hokku, for you all based on this moment:

such a malice
cherry blossoms in full bloom
the Spring wind!

© Chèvrefeuille

For the second stanza you can choose for example malice to associate on for your 2nd stanza of two lines. Maybe I have to give you the chain links lengths .... first stanza (3 lines), second stanza (2 lines); third stanza (3 lines) and so on. You may use the classical or the non-classical syllables count, for a three lined link 5-7-5 and for a two lined link 7-7, but that's not an obligation ... just feel free, maybe do some "free styling" as Santoka Taneda did, you can use several Writing Techniques as we have seen in the last three months ... just go for it.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 4th at noon (CET) ... that's a day longer than I usually do, but that's because of the task .... to write a "Soliloquy No Renga". I will try to post our next episode, chariot, later on. With that episode we will start our journey through the Bhagavad Gita and maybe find Peace of Mind as is the theme for April. Have fun!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Carpe Diem #697, Weeping Willow

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a bit late with posting this episode, but here it is ... our new (and last of this month) episode. Next month we will explore the Bhagavad Gita and the wonderful haiku by Kala Ramesh, our featured haiku-poet of April.
This last episode is Weeping Willow and this time I have taken the easy way and have a short episode for you all ... just my haiga for your inspiration and nothing more.

Well ... this is it ... this was our Carpe Diem Haiga Festival. I hope you all did like the extra challenge to make a haiga and become more artistic and creative with images and words.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until April 3rd at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, a Ghost Writer post, later on.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Carpe Diem #696, Nudity

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First this: I will not publish a Time Glass episode this week, because of lack of time and that lack of time came because of the creation of our new e-book "Haiku Writing Techniques", which is already available at our Carpe Diem Haiku Kai (you can download it at the right column of our weblog or read it in the menu at the top). And my youngest grandson has become 1 year so we had a birthday party to attend ...

Today our prompt is maybe in a way controversial, because today our prompt is nudity, not in the negative perverse way, but as seen in e.g. the paintings by Rubens. In those paintings nudity is celebrated as is done in several countries by the way. Every country has its own rules according nudity. Here in The Netherlands we have for example special beaches on which nudity is allowed. Around my hometown there are several places were recreation in the nude is allowed.

So in this episode we are celebrating nudity in the positive way.

In her "dictionary of haiku" Jane Reichhold has gathered modern kigo and one of the modern kigo for summer is nakedness or nudity and she shares a few wonderful haiku which I love to share here with you.

summer afternoon
the coolness of white
naked on a quilt

on the porch
passion flowers

© Jane Reichhold

Credits: The Death of Adonis (1614) - Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
I love the paintings by Peter Paul Rubens ... he was really a great painter. He preferred the more voluptuous people for his models ... in that way I see nudity as a kind of art. There are of course more ways of nudity in art like photos.

I ask myself ... "why is nudity such a problem in our modern time, in our modern world?" We are all born completely naked, but as we grow older ... nakedness becomes shameful ... why? Our Creator has given us all a wonderful body ... why could we not show that to the world? Because of religious movements who are preaching that humankind was expelled from paradise and therefore we needed clothing and nakedness isn't accepted ... nudity is only for private circles and nudity isn't for the public.

I love to be naked ... it feels great and it gives me a feeling of freedom.... 

For this haiga I used a haiku from my archive which fits the prompt very much.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until April 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, the last of this Carpe Diem Haiku Festival month, weeping willow, later on. For now .... have fun!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Carpe Diem #695, Fashionista (or fashion-queen)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have a rather strange prompt for you all fashionista (or fashion-queen), it's the nickname we Dutch men give to men and women who are all following the new fashion trends and want to have it. Mostly these people are famous and are rich, but there are also people who are buying everything of fashion without having the money for it.
Fashionista's (fashion-queens (and -kings)) are always clothed like the newest ideas and fashion wear. Here in the Netherlands we have a daily TV-show in which these fashion-queens (-kings) are followed. This TV-show is only on week-days and not in the weekend. Every Friday the TV-show announces a winner of that week ... not because of the amount of money they have spend, but for their taste of fashion and looking great.

I am not such a "fashion-king", not only of the lack of money, but I don't follow the fashion-trends ... Fashion is not my cup of tea, of course I want to look good, but I don't need to have the latest fashion.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 1st (no joke) at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, nudity, later on.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #139, Santoka Taneda's "the dragon flies"

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's a bit sad and today with a little pain in my heart I present to you our last CD-Special by Santoka Taneda (1882-1940), our featured haiku poet of March. Next month we will have another featured haiku-poet. Maybe you already have read which one that will be. Next month we will have Kala Ramesh, an Indian haiku-poetess, as our featured haiku-poet.
Recently I discovered that Kala Ramesh and I were published in the same worldwide anthology "Spasms of Light" (2011). I am excited and I am looking forward to next month especially the haiku by Kala Ramesh, who already has granted me permission to use her haiku.

Ok ... back to Santoka Taneda, this month's featured haiku-poet. As you maybe remember ... Santoka was a for-stander of the so called "free-style" haiku. However the haiku for today's episode of CD-Special is very classic and (in my opinion) a real beauty.
The goal of this CD-Special is to write/compose a haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one given by the featured haiku-poet.

the dragon flies
perch on my kasa
as I walk along

© Santoka Taneda

I didn't say to much I think ... a beauty, but how to catch that beauty in a new haiku inspired on the haiku by Santoka? Maybe it's an idea to look at another "dragonfly" haiku which I found on "Hello Poetry".


Dragonfly with wings of Blue, what makes me wonder just like you
You hover over a yellow flower, mesmerized by her power
I see myself attracted to, the colors of life, just like you
Something bright will pull me in, to take my light deep deep within
Oh dragonfly Oh dragonfly lets savor life, just you and I

© Johnny Dod (2010)

A wonderful poem by Johnny Dod in which we even can see something of Santoka's way of writing haiku and using repetition (the last two lines).

And here is my attempt to write an all new haiku inspired on the haiku by Santoka Taneda:

what a surprise!
as I kneel next to the old pond
dragonflies mating

© Chèvrefeuille

This is real beauty. Look at those dragonflies while they are mating they look like a heart ... amazing.
I have tried to make a haiga of this haiku and here is the result.

This episode of Carpe Diem Special will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 31st at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, fashionista, later on. For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #78, Shoha's "out from the grass"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Last week we hadn't a Tan Renga Challenge, but this week of course we will have a new Tan Renga Challenge. This week I have chosen a haiku by one of the classical haiku masters/ -poets. I hope this haiku by Shoha (1727-1772) will be the source of inspiration for this TRC episode.
In the TRC the goal is to complete the Tan Renga by putting a second (two lined) stanza towards the first stanza through association ...

at the wagon's approach,
out from the grass
flies the butterfly

© Shoha (Tr. R.H.Blyth)

A lot of images to associate on I think. So have fun ....

This Tan Renga Challenge is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Friday April 3rd at noon (CET).

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Carpe Diem #694, Experience

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to welcome you at a new episode of our Carpe Diem Haiga Festival month at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai were we have today experience as the source for inspiration. We have all experiences which we cherish or which us make sad. For example: I am an oncology-nurse and through my work I have a lot of experience with sadness and sorrow, but also with become stronger to fight the cancer. I have seen a lot of oncology patients and have cared for them too. It's amazing to see how these patients stay positive and optimistic and it's really a joy to work with them and of course there are a lot of tears spilled, but also a lot of laughter. This kind of experiences have made me whom I am today.
Another example: I am a haiku poet since the late eighties and as I look back to the years behind me and look forward to the years to come than I am glad and grateful that CDHK has brought me more than I ever had thought. I feel that my English becomes better and my haiku (and sometimes tanka) are become more compact and strong ... that's also based on experience.
There are haiku poets who are part of our Carpe Diem Haiku Family and who are saying that I am a haiku master or the Basho of our era (thank you Hamish for that big compliment) and that I thank my experience, and you all my dear haijin, for. I am just your humble host and ... yes ... I like haiku a lot.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, our last CD-Special by Santoka Taneda, later on.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Carpe Diem #693, Chess Game

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Yesterday was a tough day to create our HWT-episode, so today I will make it easy for you all (and for myself). Today our prompt is chess game not my kind of play. Yes I have tried it, but it's not really my "cup of tea". I am more of checkers which I play very often with my grandsons and they are becoming better and better I even have lost a few games already.
As I started creating this episode I thought almost immediately at the movie-musical Chess by Andrew Lloyd Webber. And I love to share a music-video from this movie-musical.

I think it's a wonderful song from Chess and I hope it will inspire you all to make another nice haiku, tanka or haiga.

Credits image
Hm ... a nice haiga I think, of course it's sad that I used a picture from the WWW, but I hadn't a good image to use. Forgive me.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, experience, later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #12, Resume

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's with a feeling of sadness that prepare this episode. For now this is our last episode of our Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques feature. Maybe later this year I will do another series of this special feature.
Today I love to give you all a resume of our Haiku Writing Techniques. What have we done in the last three months?

First we had Juxtaposition in which we discussed the images in haiku. In haiku there are mostly two opposite images, this is called "juxtaposition" as Robert Spiess (editor of 'Modern Haiku') says:

[...] “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.” [...]

wind of winter
touches the last flowers -
Ah! that perfume ...

© Chèvrefeuille

In our second episode we explored Onomatopoeia or try to bring sound in your haiku by using specific characters. Western languages don't have really a "sound" as e.g. Japanese. 
Japanese is a language of sounds as we can see in the three-lined form of haiku with its 5-7-5 sound-units (or onji). Japanese people are part of nature, they are one with the sounds of nature and therefore haiku became what it is ... the poetry of nature ...
I had never heard of onomatopoeia until I discovered haiku in the late eighties, but I learned through the years that haiku are made, written, composed for saying aloud twice (or more times). Haiku are written down but the essence of haiku is this onomatopoeia. How we say a thing is of more importance, of more significance, than what we say, the conscious meaning; for through the tones of the voice, the words chosen, their combination, the sounds echoing and reechoing one another, their concords suspended and reestablished, their discords sustained and resolved, through all this there is a music as free and yet as law-abiding as is that of the flute, the oboe and the violin.

osoki hi no tsumorite toki mukashi kana *)

slow days passing, accumulating,
how distant they are,
the things of the past!

© Buson

*) Buson uses the k sound to portray the bitterness of the passing of time

In our third episode we talked about repetition or the use of the same words in a haiku to make the 'painted' scene more intense. As we see e.g. in the haiku by our featured haiku poet Santoka Taneda or in the following by myself:

cherry blossoms fall
the spring breeze rustles through the leaves
cherry blossoms fall

© Chèvrefeuille

Surprise was the theme for our fourth Haiku Writing Technique and I used it to introduce another idea that haiku is an impression. That impression we explored further in February as all our prompts were about Impressionism.
"Surprise" is also part of haiku ... it's the "catching" of a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown in water ... e.g. the "frogpond"-haiku by Basho:

old pond
frog jumps in
sound of water

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Comparison, this was our 5th HWT episode, is a nice way to write/compose haiku ... it brings you in a way immediately two lines and you have just to write a third line towards it to make your haiku complete.

seeking for relief
aching of a broken heart -
love isn't forever

© Chèvrefeuille (published earlier on my personal haiku page)

Than we had a more difficult HWT Wabi-Sabi and it needed two episodes to expalin this Haiku Writing Technique, but finally we managed this technique.

Wabi refers to simplicity and humility. It's about being content with little. Wabi, stemming from the root "wa", which refers to harmony and tranquility, has evolved in meaning from describing something sad and desolate to describing something that is purposely humble and in tune with nature.
Sabi refers to the passing of time, which creates a feeling of sadness, longing and melancholy. It's about transient imagery, how things convey how they've lived - their age, their knowledge. Sabi by itself refers to the natural progression of time, and carries with it an understanding that all things will grow old and become less conventionally beautiful. However, things described as "sabi" carry their age with dignity and grace. At the heart of being "sabi" is the idea of authenticity.

"Wabi-Sabi IS haiku. let us take a look to how a haiku comes to life, maybe we can "discover" that Wabi-Sabi IS haiku.

You start by being part of the moment (as short as the sound of a pebble thrown in water), see the impression of the moment. Come in contact with the moment, BE the moment. Feel it, smell it, hear it, see it, touch it ... use all your senses to become one with the moment ... BE the moment. Let go all of your thoughts, make your mind empty, feel only the emptiness, be humble to the experience. It's a privilege to be in the moment. That moment grants you its permission to Be IN IT, be grateful to that.
Do you feel it? That's Wabi-Sabi, that's what haiku is. An example:

on an old branch
young sprouts of cherry blossoms
bloom again

© Chèvrefeuille

Do you "see", "feel", "hear", "smell" and "touch" the moment? I think so ... this is Wabi-Sabi.

What followed was Basho's "task for life"-haiku writing technique Karumi (Lightness).
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.
I think karumi can only be the concept for your haiku when you are not only a haiku poet, but also living haiku ... Living haiku is being one with the world around you including nature and enjoying the emptiness, loneliness and oneness of being part of nature as a human. A haiku poet (in my humble opinion) lives with nature, adores nature, praises nature and respects nature. Haiku is not only a wonderful poem ... it's a life-style.

just one leaf
struggles with the wind
like Basho

© Chèvrefeuille

Recently, this month, we explored the 'free-style' haiku as written by Santoka Taneda. 'Free-style' haiku don't use kigo, kireji or the 5-7-5 structure. It looks somewhat like the Kanshicho-style on which had a discussion here last year.
'Free-style' gives you more freedom (and pleasure) in writing your haiku (or tanka) and I think that our Western way of haiku-ing is more like the 'free-style', but that's just my (humble) opinion.

And of course there was that episode which I maybe could have done as the very first episode of HWT, but I didn't do that, not on purpose ... I just hadn't thought about it as a haiku writing technique. That episode was titled "back to basic", but could even be titled "back to the roots of haiku". That episode was about the classical way of writing haiku (as e.g you can read in Carpe Diem's Lecture 1, above in the menu) and it was a joy to make that episode ... to me ... writing a classical haiku is always a challenge, but here I have a classical haiku written by me:

the rough landscape
reaches to the deep blue sky
so impressive

© Chèvrefeuille

Than last week ... I dared to introduce an all new haiku writing technique which I called Baransu (Japanese for 'balance') and I brought the idea of "bringing balance in haiku by associating" under your attention.
As I read the responses than the most of you had some difficulty to understand this "all new haiku writing technique", but you all managed to compose a "baransu"- haiku and that makes me happy. I hope that this "baransu" haiku writing technique will find its way around the globe, but ... that's not up to me ... haiku writing must be fun and no obligation and ... maybe I can bring some more joy into this wonderful poetry form ... haiku.

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

© Chèvrefeuille

the cooing of pigeons
resonates through the grey streets -
ah! that summer rain

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you all did like this little course of Haiku Writing Techniques and I hope that the techniques we have discussed will give you all more 'handles' to enjoy haiku. For this episode you may choose which haiku writing technique you want to use for your submitted haiku. And  ... please share your choice of the technique with us.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, chess game, later on.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Carpe Diem #692, mud snail

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are counting down o the end of March and today (24/3) we have another nice prompt to become inspired. Today it's mud snail to be our source of inspiration. I have sought for haiku with snail or mudsnail in it, and I found a lot of them, here are a few examples:

en hana ya jyôzu ni magaru katatsumuri

verandah flower--
making a skillful turn
a snail

© Kobayashi Issa
Or these haiku by Buson and Basho:

hiroinokosu tanishi ni tsuki no yûbe kana

a few remain uncaught
under the evening moon
© Yosa Buson
sode yogosuran tanishi no ama no hima o nami
with dirty sleeves
farmers-turned-fishermen pick up mud snails
ever so busy
© Matsuo Basho (at the age of 39)
slowly, but slowly
the mud-snail finds its way
after the heavy rains
© Chèvrefeuille
I remember that we have had a CDHK "Little Creatures"-episode with mud-snails in the lead. And I wasn't aware of that when I created the prompt-list for March. So sorry if you read/see something familiar in this post.
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 27th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, the last Haiku Writing Technique (for the time being), later on.