flowers, haiku, photography

Elegy in 3-5-3

Basho (1644-1694) mourned the death of his friend and teacher Tando with a beautiful sad haiku.  A CDHK episode calls for variations on this theme.  Mine is an elegy for Tando.
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Basho (1644-1694) mourned the death of his friend and teacher Tando with a beautiful sad haiku:

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
|falling to the ground
|a flower closer to the root
|bidding farewell

Chèvrefeuille presents his own beautiful variation on this sad theme in the CDHK episode

Carpe Diem Weekend-meditation #14 Revise That Haiku

and challenges readers to “revise” Basho’s haiku in the same spirit:

© Chèvrefeuille
|tears flow
|falling to the ground
|autumn leaves

My response honors Tando’s influence on Basho (and hence on countless haiku poets) with imagery like Basho’s but a change in the metaphorical correspondence between the 2 people and some parts of flowering plants.  As he weeps, Basho also resolves to carry on.

Elegy for Tando
|Flowers fall,
|but seeds will ripen.
|Some will sprout.



haiku, humor, math

Two Season-Words; Two Cuts; Several Allusions

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Rules 1 and 2 of Carpe Diem’s
Writing and Enjoying Haiku #3 classical haikurequire a season-word and a cut, which is not the same as requiring exactly one of each.  (Guess who has a math background.)  Dunno how to write a haiku with interchangeable short lines (per Rule 6) that also flows naturally with exactly one cut, but I try to remember that there is a big difference between saying that I cannot do it now and saying that nobody can do it ever.

Hmmm.  Suppose there is exactly one cut, that it is made by punctuation, and that moving the cut is allowed when interchanging the short lines.  This permissive interpretation of Rule 6 did not occur to me until I saw Virginia Popescu’s beautiful haiga, where the haiku still flows naturally with exactly one cut, if we move the dash from after “stone” to after “sun” when interchanging the short lines.  Her response to this episode is also a gentle reminder that my most dangerous assumptions are the ones I do not know I am making.

Maybe I can satisfy Rule 6 with a single stationary cut some time in the future.  Maybe not.  For now, I cut in both places where one line follows another.

This Haiku Is Kosher
 No mosquitoes fly.
 Basho’s frog just meditates.
 The pond stays silent.


Not Quite Kosher
|Zen frog bronze sculpture
|(credit lost, like casting wax).
|Dunno who to thank.

haiku, humor

Old Pond Revisited

We respond to a CDHK episode by revisiting Basho’s old pond to see if his famous frog honors the haiku/senryu distinction.  It does not.  With all due respect to the Haiku Society of America, neither do I.
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Before responding to the CDHK episode

Carpe Diem Universal Jane #14 Basho’s “Old Pond”

I want to display my favorite translations of Basho’s famous “Old Pond” haiku.

© Jane Reichhold
|an old pond
|a frog jumps into
|the sound of water
© Harry Behn
|An old silent pond…
|A frog jumps into the pond,
|splash! Silence again.

Basho’s haiku illustrates why I respectfully disagree with the Haiku Society of America’s definitions of the words [haiku] and [senryu].  So does my haiku in response to this episode.  Yes, “haiku” (not “senryu”) is what I said.

Old Pond Revisited
|Basho’s frog can jump
|over lines drawn in the mud.
|Haiku? Senryu?