Arco (TN)

Arco (TN)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ghost Writer - Yozakura, and unknown Soloku Poet - September 30, 2014

Today's Ghost Writer at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is indeed a ghost.  Born on Midsummer's night in 1640, at Kyoto, a son of a high ranked samurai and a geisha named Fujiko, which means "Child of the Wisteria". He was raised by his father who taught him all he knew about art and poetry.  When his father died, he was 20 years old and being an orphan he fell into desperation and began to wander through the country side begging and taking odd jobs.

Fortunately he met Basho and his group of companions and joined them.  Here he tells us of how one day Basho suggested that hokku, which at that time was only used to begin a renga, should be able to be used as a stand alone poem and showed this poem to Yozakura:

an old pond
frog jumps in -
water sound!

They both recognized that it was a poem that could stand alone and Basho proposed to call the new form - Soloku.  But here are Yozakura's words:

"It would be a great hokku, but also on it's own its a great poem. I will call this poetry form 'Soloku'". He looked at me. "Well ... what do you say Yozakura?"
"I don't know master Basho ... but you are right. This is a wonderful stand alone poem and I like that name you have given it 'Soloku'. It's somewhat like myself. My parents died and I am an orphan, but I have done it so well. My life as an orphan has brought me so much happiness and joy and of course there is sadness and sorrow too, but I managed being alone and have become who I am now". Tears rolled over my cheeks. Basho embraced me. "You have done well Yozakura. I am proud to be your friend and your master as I am proud to be your disciple too Yozakura. You have teached me a lot too. I love you". Than he gave me a kiss on my forehead and said: "Come on Yozakura we have something to celebrate ... the birth of a new poetry form, 'Soloku'".
He survived Basho, passing away himself in 1716.  He never became a great haiku poet ... but some of his work has survived.  Here is one of his beautiful soloku poems:

yoake ni arau tsuyude watashino ashisaichoubi

at dawn
I wash my feet with dew
the longest day

© Yozakura (1640-1716)
Yozakura askes how we became interested in haiku.  Actually, I can't say exactly when or why I began to write haiku or indeed poetry.  When I was young, that is in my teens, I like many, wrote love poems and protest poems.  We were in the 60s then.  But later I no longer wrote very much of anything though I did make up stories for my children and used to "rap" my eldest sons.
Last year I opened my WordPress Bastet and Sekhmet blog (it wasn't the library yet) and began first to write about world events (you won't find them there now though), then memories of my childhood and finally, I began to write haiku and power shorts but also poetry thanks to my association with We Drink Because We're Poets, in which the administrator Sahm King published a book of anthology( The First Round is On Us) with 10 of my poems, I wrote waka (choka and sedoka), haiku and haibun for the now MIA - The Paperbook Collection and a little here and there for other bloggers and with other poets.
I just fell into writing a haiku or two each morning.  Trying to perfect the classic haiku style.  From there I tried American Sentences and American Haiku and then I found Carpe Diem Haiku Kai ... and here we are!  So in a nutshell that's my story dear Yozakura

on the pathway
in a seeming empty wood
ah! Yozakura

© G.s.k. '14


  1. Only in that solitude you can feel connected.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story! I too wrote love and protest poems - the latter was pretty much unheard of in the 80s though.... !

    Yozakura would be honored by your tribute :)

    1. I read your post ... we're divided by a generation but still have so much in common! I'm happy you think Yozakura would be honored .. I like him very much.

  3. Aren't we fortunate to have found this site!

  4. I love your tribute, Georgia! You do Yozakura honour and your haiku are always so beautiful!


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

Thanks for your kind words. I do review all comments before posting - so if your comment disappears on you, don't fret. I will post comments as soon as I am able.

I do not post or return visits to "Anonymous Comments."