!!! Open for your submissions next Sunday June 4th 7:00 PM (CET) !!!
Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Welcome at a completely new feature for our "weekend-meditation". As you maybe remember, last month I announced to end the "Universal Jane" feature, not to forget her, but to create space for a new feature. Of course I will create another special feature to honor Jane Reichhold here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.
This new feature for our "weekend meditation" I have titled "Time Travel, Ancient Japanese Poetry To Inspire You" and in this new feature I will take you on a trip back into time, a time in which poetry was only an art for the higher classes of Japan. A lot of those poems were gathered in several anthologies like the Kokinshu (or Kokin Wakashu - 920 AD) or the Man'yoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves - 745 AD). In these anthologies the "editors" have gathered long poems (like Choka) and short poems (like Waka).
In this new feature I will try to tell you a little bit background on these anthologies and will give you a few examples. Than I will introduce the poem which you have to use for your inspiration.
For this first episode of "Time Travel" I have made a nice choice from the Man'yoshu, but let me first tell you a little bit about the background.
The Man'yoshu or 'Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves' is an anthology of ancient Japanese poems compiled c. 759 CE during the Nara Period but including many earlier works. The most likely person to have assembled the collection is Otomo no Yakamochi, himself a prolific poet who included nearly 500 of his own works in the Man'yoshu. The Man'yoshu is regarded as a literary classic and high point of Japanese poetry.
|Otomo no Yakamochi|
Many scholars consider the Man’yoshu to have been compiled by the poet Otomo no Yakamochi (c. 718-785 CE)
On an evening when the spring mists
Trail over the wide sea,
And sad is the voice of the crane,
I think of my far-off home.
© Otomo no Yakamochi
The Man'yoshu collection contains poems which were all written in the Japanese of that time, i.e. using Chinese characters phonetically. The work consists of 4,496 poems organized into 20 books, the vast majority being in the waka (aka waku) style, that is each poem has precisely 31 syllables in five lines (5+7+5+7+7). 262 poems, in contrast, are written in the longer nagauta style, which can have up to 200 lines. There are also 62 sedoka poems (six-line poems of 38 syllables) and four poems written in Chinese. The poems come in three broad thematic categories; zoka (miscellaneous), somon (mutual inquiries or love poems), and banka (elegies). The poems cover a period of four centuries and it is likely they were intended to be sung.
|Cherry Blossoms (image found on WP)|
cherry blossoms scattered
by the breeze
PS. The Solution to our Haiku Puzzler of May 2017 you can find HERE