Arco (TN)

Arco (TN)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Writing With Shiki (5) - the departed soul" - July 29, 2014

We are growing ever nearer the end of July and the close of this great month dedicated to the 5 master's of Haiku.  Today's post is dedicated to Shiki from the prompt found on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai:

Because of a debilitating disease (tuberculosis) Masaoka Shiki had to be confined to his bed for almost 7 years until he passed away. Despite the pain, he continued writing poems while lying on his back. When Shiki came near to death, one of his disciples, Hekigoto was at Shiki's bedside. Hekigoto wrote about how Shiki wrote his final three haiku as follows:
[…] "It was around 10 o'clock on the morning of September 18. I dipped his old writing brush ,whose stem and brush were both thin, full of ink and had him hold it in his right hand. Then quite abruptly in the center of the paper Shiki began to write readily "sponge gourd has bloomed " , and a little below that phrase, he again moved his brush in a breath "choked by phlegm" I was a little curious what he was going to write next and was watching the paper closely, then at last he wrote "a departed soul", which bit into my heart". [...]
 sponge gourd has bloomed
choked by phlegm
a departed soul

© Masaoka Shiki
Hekigoto was probably the most famous of Shiki's students. He was of the younger generation of haiku greats. His earlier poems followed the traditional haiku format. Later in his career he began to abandon the traditional form. He wanted his poems to come as close to reality as possible without the interference of man made rules. He started the New Trend Haiku Movement. He experimented with disregarding the seventeen syllable pattern.

 from a bathing tub
I throw water into the lake -
slight muddiness appears

© Hekigoto

far fireworks
sounding, otherwise
not a thing
© Hekigoto
And this is Chèvrefeuille's effort:

morning dew
evaporates in the early sunlight -
spirit climbs to the sky

© Chèvrefeuille

in the trees at dawn
the song of the blackbird greets
a weary soul

rain at dawn
departing souls sighing
whispering winds

© G.s.k. '14


  1. Beautiful post Georgia ... very nice scenery and in close touch with Shiki's haiku. I have published your Ghost Writer post on kyoka ... looking forward to the responses ...


    1. Thank you very much ... should be fun to see the responses, thanks for telling me you published the GW post!

  2. This is so soft and peaceful - finding peace at last - lovely

    1. Ah ... soft flowing waters and a blackbirds song ... thanks Jen for dropping by.

  3. The winds have a soulful sound don't they. Poignant haiku

    1. Very, I agree a contant font of reflection for me. Thank you for dropping by! :-)

  4. Very nice Georgia - always a pleasure coming here to read the the haiku.

    1. Thank you Hamish, to me it's always a pleasure to see you!


harmonious words ... like crystal clear water ... pure ectasy

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