Saturday, December 3, 2016

Carpe Diem #1085 The Kiss (Philip Glass)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have a wonderful piece of music for your inspiration. It is composed by one of the greatest modern composers I know, Philip Glass. At the end of our last century I heard work of Glass for the very first time. I was visiting a friend of mine and he had bought a wonderful modern Opera, as he called it. "You have to listen to this part", he said. He played a part of an Egyptian dead-song. "Awesome", I said. "Who has written this?" He showed me the case of the CD and there it was a beautiful image of Akhnaten, the forgotten pharao who introduced the "one-god" religion of Aton. Maybe you can remember his name from our trip along and over the Nile.
"This is Philip Glass' masterpiece "Akhnaten", my friend said. "I just recently discovered his music". I was immediately a fan of this modern times classical music composed by Philip Glass, but for your inspiration I have chosen another composition by him.

Philip Glass (1937 - )
Philip Glass

Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer. He is considered one of the most influential music makers of the late 20th century.
Although his compositions were often described as minimal music, as were other "minimalists" such as La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Glass has since distanced himself from the "minimalist" label, describing himself instead as a composer of "music with repetitive structures", which he has helped evolve stylistically. Currently, he describes himself as a "classicist", pointing out that he is trained in harmony and counterpoint and studied such composers as Franz Schubert, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with Nadia Boulanger.
Glass has founded a namesake musical group, the Philip Glass Ensemble, with which he still performs on keyboards, and has written 24 operas, musical theatre works, ten symphonies, eleven concertos, solo works, chamber music including seven string quartets and instrumental sonatas, and film scores. Three of his film scores have been nominated for Academy Awards.

This video is created by Elliott Walsh, (images and music are copyrighted and the copyright lays with the artists.)

sweet sensations
I kiss the woman of my life
my heart beats again

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode ( a little belated maybe) is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 8th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, The Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky, later on. For now .... have fun!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Carpe Diem #1084 Serenade (Schubert)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month, the last month of the year 2016, December its all about music. This month I love to inspire you through beautiful classical music of all ages and from all over the globe. Music ... emotion as is haiku and tanka. Haiku and Tanka are almost the same according to the sphere we want to share ... emotions ...

A beautiful piece of music can bring me to tears, but also to big smiles. A beautiful haiku or tanka does that to me also ... there are several haiku and tanka which brought me to tears, but also brought bright smiles on my face.

One of the haiku which I recently wrote which brought me to tears was the following:

morning dew
evaporates at sunrise
a skylark's song

© Chèvrefeuille

You certainly will remember this one, because I wrote it as response on the death-poem by Jane Reichhold, whom I miss every day. Of course there was the sadness and sorrow for the loss of our beloved co-host Jane Reichhold, but in this haiku I see the disappearing of the (in my opinion) most beautiful part of the early sunrise as the sun rises and brings the dew its light ... making the dew into diamonds or little crystals, but than ... as the sun rises further that fragile beauty disappears, evaporates .... and than there is that song of the skylark ... an intense feeling, an intense emotion ... tears ...

This haiku could be a serenade ... to the one you loved and lost, but it also brings the idea of rebirth to us again.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828) was an Austrian composer. Schubert died before his 32nd birthday, but was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Appreciation of his music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical and early Romantic eras and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century.

Today I love to inspire you with a wonderful piece of music composed by Franz Schubert. (Video created by Angelo Vullo)

Listen ... listen to this beautiful piece of music, I think it's one of Schubert's most beautiful pieces.

a new day rises birds sing their own little song leaves joining the mountain stream babbles forth reflecting the sun beams ... a light show

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... this time I created a tanka inspired on this music, I hope you did like the music and that it will inspire you all to create your beauties through the music ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 7th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, The Kiss by Philip Glass, later on.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Carpe Diem #1083 Air (Bach)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... our first day of December has almost gone. I had a day off, but it was a day planned fully with all other things I had to do, but hadn't time for. Today my mom and I visited the graveyard to see how beautiful my dad's grave has become after placing the tombstone. It has become really beautiful, but it was also very emotional to be there after eight months. We stood there in deep silence, only the sound of nature and the beating of our hearts ... finally we can start to mourn really.

Today I have a nice piece of music for you by one of my favorites composers, J.S. Bach. I have played a lot of his oeuvre and I enjoyed that very much. I played on the organ of our church and I had my own chamber organ with the sound pipes enclosed in its body. I really enjoyed playing it. It brought the church organ into our home.

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
J.S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motive organization, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which around two hundred survive. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognized as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

The piece of music which I love to share today to inspire you is Air by J.S. Bach, it's a wonderful composition and I have played it several times myself.

heavenly music
birds praising their Creator
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope the music of Bach will inspire you.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 6th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Serenade by Schubert, later on.

!!! PS. I am hopelessly behind with commenting I hope to catch up soon !!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Carpe Diem #1082 Raindrops (Chopin)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first episode of our new Carpe Diem Haiku Kai month, December 2016. This month it's all about the theme "Let The Music Inspire You" and we start this new month, in which I hope to inspire you through music, mostly classical music from all over the globe and of all times, with a beautiful piece of music by Chopin.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Frédéric Chopin:

Frédéric François Chopin (1810 – 1849), was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as a leading musician of his era, whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation." Chopin was born in Warsaw. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20.

At 21 he settled in Paris. Thereafter, during the last 18 years of his life, he gave only some 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by teaching piano, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann. In 1835 he obtained French citizenship. After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska, from 1837 to 1847 he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French woman writer George Sand. A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 was one of his most productive periods of composition. In his last years, he was financially supported by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. Through most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health. He died in Paris in 1849, at the age of 39, probably of tuberculosis.

Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his association (if only indirect) with political insurrection, his love life and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era in the public consciousness. His works remain popular.

In my teenagers time I fell in love with the music of Chopin through my music teacher who was "prepping" me for the Conservatory. Chopin really created wonderful pieces of music mostly love-themed.

Beginning in D-Flat Major, this piece focuses on inner confliction and the contemplation of the solitary self. The composition was born from the mind of Frédéric Chopin. (Video created by Undying 23)

raindrops they fall one by one and become one

© Chèvrefeuille

In this haiku I have tried to bring the inner conflict to an image of nature. Raindrops (inner conflicts) fall one by one, but at the ground the become one ... and that makes the conflict solved and brings peace of mind.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 5th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Air by J.S. Bach, later on. For now ... enjoy the music and have fun.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #30 pilgrimage

!! The first seven (7) prompts for December 2016 Let The Music Inspire You are NOW ONLINE you can find them in the menu above !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... this is it ... our last episode of our Tanka Splendor month. This month I hope you had a lot of fun and that you have learned something. Through the Ten Tanka Writing Techniques by Teika we explored the beauty of Tanka. It was a real adventure and a journey, because tanka isn't easy and as you all know not really my "cup of tea".

As I started this Tanka Splendor month I introduced to you a tanka which I had written and I asked myself the question if this tanka would change after this month ... well let's look at that tanka again.

lost in the woods
searching for a new path
between ferns
the early light of day
points the way to leave

© Chèvrefeuille

This tanka wasn't strong but it was the "scene" to explain why I choose to do a Tanka month. It gives words to my struggle with tanka, to me tanka is a new path, because I am a "real" haiku poet. This month was the light that poiinted me the way to leave the safe grounds of haiku and I hope that I have improved my tanka writing skills.
This tanka I will not change, but I will try to create a new tanka here with our theme for today ... pilgrimage ...
Maybe you can remember our journey back in 2014, our two month pilgrimage following in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi on Shikoku Island were we visited the 88 temples. This pilgrimage is a once in a lifetime must for the Buddhists and we made that pilgrimage virtually. We were two months on our way on Shikoku and almost on the same time we walked to Santiago De Compostela together with Paulo Coelho (one of my favorite authors).

Here is the tanka which I wrote inspired on "pilgrimage" :

pilgrims transformation
as buds burst open in spring
flowering cherry trees
dancing naked to honor them
the beauty of the Sakura

© Chèvrefeuille

I think this tanka is close to the beauty of the real tanka written by a lot of you. It has the beauty of nature, but also the beauty of love. I think this tanka is one of my best. Did I succeed to find my path to tanka writing? Tanka ... it still isn't really my "cup of tea", but it is a poetry form which I will try more often ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 4th at noon (CET). I will try to post our first episode of December later on ...

Monday, November 28, 2016

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #29 autumn's voice

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the penultimate episode of our Tanka Splendor month. It was really a joy to create this special Tanka month and I am so glad that I dare to do it, because (as you all know) I am not a great tanka-poet. Haiku is more my "cup of tea", but I just had to do this month, not only for myself, but also for you and most of all for Jane Reichhold. Jane once said to me "you are a very sensitive guy and tanka is your kind of poetry, go on try it ..."

Today our prompt is autumn's voice, but what do I mean by that? With this prompt I hope to challenge you to create tanka in which you are listening to autumn's voice. Autumn's voice ... is the tough wind, the rustling of the fallen leaves, the hard smashing rains, the sound of birds on their way to warmer places and more.

A wonderful piece of music created by Nujabes in which he has tried to bring the voice of autumn. Maybe this music can help to awaken your muse.

just the wind
the rustling of fallen leaves
and the soft rain
together with the one I love
I discover the voice of autumn

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this episode and of course I hope that it will inspire you to create tanka. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 3rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, the last of this Tanka Splendor month, pilgrimage, later on. During lack of time, I have a very busy week, I will not publish a Universal Jane episode this Wednesday. So only the regular prompt.

I am busy with the new prompt-list for December and I hope to publish it on time. As you all know in December we will explore classical music of all times. I am looking forward to this new month. I also hope to launch a new challenging kukai.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #28 Teika's Tenth Tanka Writing Technique "Demon-quelling" (prompt: autumn departs)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is the last Tanka Writing Technique by Teika, it's very specific for that time as I look at the "name" for this Tanka Writing Technique "demon-quelling". It will not be an easy task to explain this Tanka Writing Technique, but I will give it a try together with Jane Reichhold.

Demon-quelling - onihishigitei (or kiratsu no tei), characterized by strong or even vulgar diction and terms

Because its methods are at odds with the classical poetical values of beauty, elegance, and grace, Teika said the style to be "more difficult" and should be attempted only when the student has become proficient in the other methods. One of Teika's examples is taken from the Man'yoshū, #4:503 which is a more violent version than a similar poem in the Shinkokinshū, #10:911:

kamikaze ya / Ise no hamaogi / orishikite / tabine ya suran / araki hamabe ni

divine winds
reeds on the Ise beach
are broken
to make a traveler's bed
on this rough shore

The operative words to demonstrate the demon-quelling style are "divine winds" the breaking off of reeds, and the rough seacoast. Teika taught that even though the poet put these elements into a poem, they should be treated with sensibility and gentleness however, it seems this has been most easy to ignore.

Let me try to explain this idea. As you maybe know in ancient Japan, as in many other ancient cultures, there were stories about demons, devils and ghosts, but in Japan and for example China they made these "oni" look like monstrous creatures.
Oni are a kind of yōkai from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demons, devils, ogres, or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theater.

Oni (demons) woodblock print

Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common.

They are often depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths and carrying iron clubs called kanabō. This image leads to the expression "oni with an iron club", that is, to be invincible or undefeatable. It can also be used in the sense of "strong beyond strong", or having one's natural quality enhanced or supplemented by the use of some tool. In addition to this, it can mean to go overboard, or be unnecessarily strong or powerful.

It's the looks of these "oni" which Teika uses to describe this "demon-quelling" Tanka Writing Technique.

So the goal is to create a tanka characterized by strong or even vulgar diction and terms. Not easy I would say, because my goal for tanka (and haiku) is elegance and beauty and not anti-beauty or anti-elegance. But I have given it a try:

broken wings a butterfly crushed under my feet fragile beauty gone leaving me with a broken heart

© Chèvrefeuille

Huh ... the idea of this "anti-beauty and anti-elegance" is really not my "cup of tea", but I think this tanka fits the Tenth Tanka Writing Technique. As you can read the prompt for today is "autumn departs", so I have tried to create a tanka with that prompt too:

broken branches
last leaves ripped apart
autumn departs
the first snow starts to fall
cuddling in front of the hearth

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, autumn's voice, later on. For now ... have fun!

PS. I had a CD Special Japanese Poetry In The Lowlands planned, but during lack of time I have decided to drop that episode, maybe I will publish it next month.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #27 decay

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today my mom and I have seen the definite version of the grave-stone for my dad's grave. They will place it next Monday or Tuesday. Finally we can start with our real mourning after such a long time. I cannot imagine that it has been almost nine months ago that my dad died.

Today our prompt is decay and it is a bit rare to see this prompt on this day (thinking about what I wrote above), but ... I had planned this prompt for today so I couldn't change that anymore.

the scent of autumn
that sweet smell of decaying leaves -
after the rain - stronger makes me think of days past and my first real love ...

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, the last Tanka Writing technique by Teika, later on.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #26 meditation

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

This wonderful CDHK Tanka Splendor month is running towards its end and we have still a few days to improve our Tanka writing skills. Today I have a nice prompt for you which is a nice theme for tanka. Today our prompt is meditation.
We all know what meditation is I think, so no need to explain that further. Let's go and try to create tanka with this prompt, but first I have a few haiku for you which maybe can inspire you.

dervishes whirling
seeking a higher consciousness -
third eye opens

chanting their mantra
broomstick and rake in hand
true meditation

peace of mind
lotuses reach for the sun
growing from the dark

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... enough haiku to inspire you. I couldn't come up with something new at first, but I found a beautiful cascading haiku in my archive which I have re-worked into a tanka that fits the scene and even fits the "love" angle of tanka.

deep meditation
high up in the mountains
a Buddhist monk
even he violates chastity
watching a geisha

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 30th at noon (CET). I will publish our next episode, decay, later on.

!!! Soon to come a new challenging kind of kukai !!!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor 25th Teika's 9th Tanka Writing Technique "Exquisite Detail" (prompt: charcoal)

!! I have replaced the e-books of CDHK to our Carpe Diem Library and I created a new page for our own E-zine Souchou!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor. This month our main goal is to improve our tanka writing skills through the Ten Tanka Writing Techniques by Teika. Today I will introduce to you Teika's 9th Tanka Writing Technique "Exquisite Detail" and I will try to create a tanka with it prompted "charcoal".

Let me first take you back in time to the century in which the tanka was known as waka. In ancient times, it was a custom between two writers to exchange waka instead of letters in prose. In particular, it was common between lovers. Reflecting this custom, five of the twenty volumes of the Kokin Wakashū gathered waka for love. In the Heian period the lovers would exchange waka in the morning when lovers met at the woman's home. The exchanged waka were called Kinuginu, because it was thought the man wanted to stay with his lover and when the sun rose he had almost no time to put on his clothes on which he had lain instead of a mattress (it being the custom in those days). Works of this period, The Pillow Book and The Tale of Genji provide us with such examples in the life of aristocrats. Murasaki Shikibu uses 795 waka in her The Tale of Genji as waka her characters made in the story. Some of these are her own, although most are taken from existing sources. Shortly, making and reciting waka became a part of aristocratic culture. They recited a part of appropriate waka freely to imply something on an occasion.

Illustration from the Tale of Genji (woodblock print)

Much like with tea, there were a number of rituals and events surrounding the composition, presentation, and judgment of waka. There were two types of waka party that produced occasional poetry: Utakai and Uta-awase. Utakai was a party in which all participants wrote a waka and recited them. Utakai derived from Shikai, Kanshi party and was held in occasion people gathered like seasonal party for the New Year, some celebrations for a newborn baby, a birthday, or a newly built house. Utaawase was a contest in two teams. Themes were determined and a chosen poet from each team wrote a waka for a given theme. The judge appointed a winner for each theme and gave points to the winning team. The team which received the largest sum was the winner. The first recorded Utaawase was held in around 885. At first, Utaawase was playful and mere entertainment, but as the poetic tradition deepened and grew, it turned into a serious aesthetic contest, with considerably more formality. (source:wikipedia)

Okay back to our episode.

Exquisite detail - komayaka naru tei

This style is indicated by exact and precise details with often complex imagery. In Teika's anthology of tanka styles he has 29 examples. One of which is one from the Kokinshū, #4:193, written by Ōno Chisato (890-905):

tsuki mireba / chiji ni mono koso / kanashikere / waga ni hitiostu no / /aki ni wa aranedo

gazing at the moon
a thousand sad things
overcome me
not only I feel this
in autumn alone

This "exquisite detail" technique we can imagine quit well I think, because we are all haiku poets and are proud on the details we can use in our haiku. For example think about the haiku by Basho on "shepherd's purse", which we have seen here earlier:

if you look closely
a sheperd's purse flowering
underneath the hedge

© Basho

I have tried to create a tanka with "charcoal" and with the use of this "exquisite detail" technique. I don't know if it has become a good one.

in the meadow
peeling the leaves of daisies,
does she loves me?
dreaming In front of the fireplace
I look into the charcoal

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, meditation, later on.