Carpe Diem’s Renga Challenge #1 invites us to choose from a selection of Basho’s early haiku (as translated by Jane Reichhold) and to create a Renga of at least 6 stanzas by arranging Basho’s haiku and inserting two-line verses in between.
What was all that about? My interpretation is that Kikaku was talking about eating dragonflies. Many insects, including dragonflies are edible and part of the Japanese diet. Typically legs and wings are not eaten. Whether red dragonflies are inedible or only for those who like tart flavours I don’t know. I prefer Basho’s version over Kikaku’s. He retains the humour and eliminates disregard for the life of the dragonfly…a hard act to follow.
In his ‘fusion’ or ‘crossroads’ haiku challenges Chevrefeuille takes two haiku and invites us to create a new one inspired by both. His Heeding Haiku prompt for the week proposes a fusion of two Basho haiku translated by Jane Reichhold:
In response to Carpe Diem’s Crossroads #3, I am featuring a day lily I photographed three summers ago. Though it was cloudy last night for March’s blue moon, recent days have been sunny!
Carpe Diem’s Crossroad challenges offer two haiku from which participants create some kind of combination or fusion. This time, the two inspirational haiku were written by Basho and translated by Jane Reichhold:
….this is the last verse in Basho’s ‘Oku no Hosomichi’ ‘The Narrow Road to the Far North’. Because there are several word plays at work here, the Japanese maintain that there is no way for the poem to be rendered into another language.
The challenge here was to “revise” Basho’s haiku even though in its original Japanese there are many wordplays. After reading Chevrefeuille’s post (link above) and much head scratching, I came up with this simple version:
Futami, a word used in the Japanese version, is the name of the port where the Wedded Rocks, shown in the photo, are located. Beach chestnuts is an alternative meaning of the words in the first line and possibly could be an image representing the Wedded Rocks.
Chèvrefeuille posed an interesting challenge: “revise” the above haiku by the venerable Basho. As I understand, a “revision” in this challenge means to express in different words some of the essence of the original haiku. It is thought that Basho wrote his poem when a special teacher died. He makes use of the Japanese proverb, “a flower goes back to its root”. I decided to allude to another saying: “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. In the end, my appreciation grew—for both Basho’s and Chèvrefeuille’s haiku.