Saturday, February 23, 2019

Season Your Poetry

Hello Toads. It has been quite a whirlwind with seasons and weather lately, hey? Three weeks ago we had subzero weather and snow here in the South. Then the Polar Vortex escaped its boundaries (a sure sign of climate change but we won't get into that now) and just about froze us into walking popsicles. Then two weeks of lovely springs weather, then cold again. And now my yard is blue with tiny blue violets. Cold weather sneaks in again this weekend. Ah...the end of winter. Or is it early spring? In Japan, they could the months of their seasons differently than we do in the west. At this point, we have: Early Spring - February 4 - March 5, Mid-spring - March 6 - April 4, and Late Spring - April 5 - May 5. the Japanese count their seasons as such: Spring:; February 4 - May 5, Summer: May 5 - August 7, Autumn: August 8 - November 6, and Winter: November 7 - February 3. See the difference? The season I am most concerned with now is Spring. I lived in Japan for a bit and became used to keeping the seasons in the way of the Japanese. I actually helped plant rice in the spring.

Cherry Blossoms and Fuji

The Japanese are all about honoring the seasons and nature. Their belief system, Shinto, holds that when a person dies, they may in that death become a part of nature - from the lowliest flea to the greatest mountain. Therefore, all of nature is to honored. The poetic form of Japan, created by Basho, is the haiku. The haiku is all about being in the moment, all about nature. There is a directory of over 50,000 kigo called a saijiki. A kigo is literally a name for a seasonal piece of a season. I am not going to ask you all to write a haiku. What I am going to do is to ask you for a brief (and I mean brief) poem about a kigo in spring. the form is your choice. The subject is your choice. Just make it about spring. Here is a list of spring kigo. This is from an extensive list of which many kigo have been deleted or apply only to Japan. I have translated the kigo from the Japanese.  Please pick one or several and write a poem or, even a haiku. Remember: haiku must use a kigo and a kireji (a cutting word), be in the moment (sort of like a photograph) and have three lines: 5-7-5 syllable count or, short-long-short lines. Please write no more than 10 lines. In the Japanese tradition make it brief, to the point, and without a lot of flowery description. It is all about the season. Please take the time to read all the poets who post here. I read all the poets every week because I enjoy reading and learning from your words. Who knows, you may learn something? smiles

Spring Kigo
  Season: spring months: late February, March, April, and May; beginning of spring, early           spring, departing spring, late spring, lengthening days, long day, mid-spring, spring dream, spring dusk, spring evening, spring melancholy, tranquility, vernal equinox.

Sky and Elements: balmy breeze, bright, haze or thin mist, first spring storm, hazy moon, March wind, melting snow, lingering snow, spring breeze, spring cloud, spring frost, spring moon, spring rain, spring rainbow, spring sunbeam, spring snow, slush, warm (warmth).
Landscape: flooded river/stream/brook, muddy/miry fields, muddy road, spring fields, spring hills, spring mountain, spring river, spring sea, spring tide, red tide.
Human Affairs: balloon, kite, shell gathering, planting or sowing (seeds), plowing or tilling fields, spring cleaning, swing, windmill, Boys Day, Dolls Festival, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter ( ~ bonnet/clothes, ~ eggs, coloring/hiding ~ eggs, ~lily, ~ parade, ~ rabbit/chicken/duckling), May Day ( ~ basket, ~ pole), 
Animals: abalone, bee, baby animals (nestlings, fledglings, calf, colt, kitten, puppy, fawn, lamb, etc.), butterfly, bush warbler, cats in love, crane, flying squirrel, frog, horse-fly, lizard, pheasant, robin, mud snail, soaring skylark, stork, swallow, tadpole, whitebait (a fish), hummingbird, nightingale, wild birds’ return (geese, etc.).


Plants: anemone, artichoke, asparagus sprouts, azalea, bracken, bramble, camellia, cherry blossoms, cherry tree, crocus, dandelion, leaf buds of trees and shrubs (almond, apple, apricot, maple, oak, pear, peach, pine, wisteria, etc.), forget-me-not, grass sprouts, hawthorn, hyacinth, lilac, lily of the valley, mustard, pansy, parsley, plum blossoms, plum tree, California poppy, primrose, seaweed or laver (nori), sweet pea, shepherd’s-purse, tulip, violet, willow, pussy willows or willow catkins.

A few spring haiku by Basho to get you in the mood. Note the brevity and the straightforward style.
spring is passing -
the birds cry and the fishes fill
with tears on their eyes

a cloudy day during the cherry blossom season -
whether the sound of bell at 
Ueno or Asakusa 

try to plant
as for a child -
A little cherry tree


頑張る がんばるor, Haijin gambaru! - Good luck and strive to do your best


Terraced Rice Field in Spring


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15 comments:

Toni Spencer said...

Konichiwa Hikigaeru (greetings Toads): I am coming to you live from a hospital room. I have aspiration pneumonia! So cheer me up with your poems using one or more of the given kigo about spring. Make it rain Toads, make it rain. I will read and comment on your poems as I am able. Thank you all so much.

Kim Russell said...

Greetings Toads and best wishes for a speedy recovery, Toni! I have tried my best with a haiku that I hope will cheer you up. Lots of love xx

Magaly Guerrero said...

Toni, I hope the doctors are making things better for you, and you don't have to stay in the hospital for long.

Carrie Van Horn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie Van Horn said...

Thank you Toni for a wonderful prompt, and thank you Magaly for all your help as well. Just glad to have made it here. I feel my piece is a bit too long, but was able to stay on subject so hope that works. Hope everyone has a great weekend, and Toni I hope you get well soon. Sending hugs.

Fireblossom said...

Geeez, I can't leave you on your own for 5 minutes, can I, without you falling down a mine shaft or something. Feel better!

brudberg said...

Hope I can cheer you up... no real spring here but no winter either.. I think we are still in winter-spring...

Susie Clevenger said...

Goodness Toni... Get better soon!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Awesome, Toni. I spent th day doing research, we are trying for a tree protection bylaw here, so it is nice to turn my thoughts to poetry, especially brief poetry.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my goodness, I just read the comments. You are very dedicated, running your prompt from a hospital bed! Take care, rest as much as you can. Get better!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Dear Toni, get well soon, and hope the poetry helps. I managed to use a number of the words even whilst taking an upside-down view.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oops, suddenly realised I had exceeded the 10 lines. I'm sure my piece is now better for some abbreviating.

Jui said...

Oh I just love haiku poetry and beauty in brevity. Thank you so much for nice prompt.

Jui Positive Cookies

Linda Lee Lyberg said...

Toni- so sorry to hear you are not feeling well. I have been under the weather as well. Trying my hand at this today, and including a shot of the Superstition Mountains, which are near us.

Jim said...

This was a fun "little, small," project. We attended a large professional stage production of "Momma Mia," in Houston last night. I wrote my ditty waiting for the curtain lifting and posted it during intermission. It is usable but not refined and I'll leave it be Thznks to Toni, getting with this ready and all on the same page was a great production in itself. Good Job, Tomi. Thank you !!!
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