e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the category “Blog challenges and sharing”

Carpe Diem and Pedro Calderon de la Barca

P1030724

Carpe Diem has several haiku challenges going at present. I like the one (number 1033) using a prompt by the Spanish poet Pedro Calderon de la Barca.

This is the prompt:

These flowers, which were splendid and sprightly, waking in the dawn of the morning, in the evening will be a pitiful frivolity, sleeping in the cold night’s arms.

There are several ideas here around day/night, the fleeting nature of flowers, the effect of time on perception of splendour/frivolity/pitifulness, whether flowers sleep or wake, and I’m sure there are others I haven’t noticed.

I decided to put the sleep first and look forward to the wakening:

As night falls, so do
the petals of the daylily.
In the summer moonlight,
buds of tomorrow’s lilies
prepare to open at dawn.

Advertisements

Haiku and Estonia

A blog challenge based on a whole country! From pictures Estonia looks beautiful, but photographs are all I have to go by as I’ve never been there.

As usual Chèvrefeuille has given us some great haiku examples and some interesting insights into the country and its spirituality.

Below is my take on the subject.

Version 2

This trail through forests,
valleys, lakelands – since the stone-age
a guide for travellers –
leads us today from the sea
to the heavenly dancers.

Tan renga challenge

yellow roseCarpe Diem has invited us to finish a poem in the tan renga style (a poem started by one poet and completed by another.

The first part is a 5-7-5 poem written by a 20th century poet Mizuhara Shuoshi.

A new year begins
With the blooming
Of a single frosty rose.

My two 7-7 lines to finish it are:

Rose, frost, season met/will meet
For centuries of new years.

Carpe Diem #948 brush

The post #948 on Carpe Diem deals with the haiku principle of yugen. This word, first used by Chinese philosophers, generally means ‘mystery’ and ‘unknowable depth’.

It is up to the reader to decide if a poem has yugen or not, so interpreting the term is very subjective.

I have no problem with this. I think that all responses to all poems are subjective, and readers frequently find features the poet did not intend and miss others s/he worked hard to include.

Maybe most poems have an element of yugen – sometimes it’s obvious and other times obscure.

Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are.

may be a rhyme for children, but does it differ much from

Tyger, tyger burning bright
In the forests of the night.

In my opinion Blake’s poetry includes yugen, even though he probably didn’t know the term.

But back to #948. The following is my contribution to the discussion:

Deer fly when no one
watches. In the snowy field
their flight leaves no prints.

Carpe Diem Special #201 Basho’s disciples

Carpe Diem has set yet another interesting haiku challenge: to write in the style of Morikawa Kyoroku who was one of Basho’s disciples.

The sample given is:

ah! morning glories
are at their best while I chant
my morning prayers

It’s a simple and straightforward word-picture, but the more I look at it the more ideas and depths I see in it.

My answer to this challenge is:

Early sun, but where
the pine tree casts a shadow
there’s grass white with frost.

Carpe Diem special 184: in the spirit of Ese

At this end of November, damp and windy where I am, Carpe Diem has given us a glimpse of spring in some of the haiku he’s chosen for today’s inspiration. His model is a lady called Ese who has written many simple haiku that say a great deal in a few words.

The examples are mainly about nature and its ephemeral beauty.

Here’s what the spirit of Ese has inspired me to write:

A leafless forest.
The wind howls. From far away
someone’s dog answers.

Reading a mystery

Another Carpe Diem challenge and this time one open to an even wider range of responses than usual. To check out some of the ways others have interpreted the prompt go to the website and follow the links – an exploration well worth taking.

The prompt comes from a haiku by Cor van den Heuve, a well-known American haiku writer.

This is his:

reading a mystery
a cool breeze comes through
the beach roses

One could speculate for hours on the exact meaning – what mystery? a book, or something more profound? I wondered, too, what beach roses are, but a quick google answered that question.

This theme is so rich I wrote several haiku using it, but finally settled on the following as being truest to the original.

Reading a mystery
in the garden; a blackbird sings;
mystery resolved.

Haiku, monks and pharaohs

As usual Chèvrefeuille has set an interesting poetic challenge on Carpe Diem. It’s well worth reading the article about Lake Tana and its rich spiritual history.

Some of the poems inspired by this challenge are truly lovely.

I’ve followed in my fellow poets’ footprints with a tanka:

The Blue Nile flowing
from Tana, once heard the songs
of monks and pharaohs.
Now the cloisters are ruins;
the songs but faded legends.

 

Visiting bees

A summery challenge from Carpe Diem this time, inspired by blogger Laura Williams.

My garden is full of bees at present, so I give them a little mention.

Afternoon: baked still
by sun. Even the quaking grass
is motionless. But
the lavender bush shivers,
jostled by tiger-striped bees.

 

Summer passing in haiku

woodlandCarpe Diem again has an interesting and thoughtful prompt. This time the originator is Jane Reichhold who has published on haiku and modern kigo. The prompt is summer passing – a look at the fleeting nature of time, the seasons, life.

My contribution:

Today the woods are green;
soon they will be gold.
How quickly summer passes.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: