Welcome to 2019. I hope to inspire you with January’s haiku inspiration to help you ease into the New Year.

DO YOU HAVE DREAMS FOR 2019?  DO YOU MAKE RESOLUTIONS?

I used to make New Year’s resolutions years ago, but those days are long gone. It always started out with the best effort and intentions, but like some, they were always broken within a few short months. The rigidity and pressure to keep them is not what inspires or motivates me. Quiet reflection, setting goals and having dreams is what makes me feel good about beginning a new year. This year I’ve been working on this with an amazing workbook created by Susannah Conway called “Unravel Your Year”.  She offers a process by reviewing the passing year and diving into creating a fresh start to the new year with monthly calendars to set goals to map out the year. I’m in the middle of this process and am feeling energized by all of the possibilities that I can make happen. 2018 was a year for going inward, gaining clarity and taking care of my health. I’m starting this year feeling healthy, energized and inspired to write more haiku.

My word for 2019 is EXPOSURE. 2019 is for sharing and inspiring others about what haiku is and how it provides a powerful tool for gaining awareness and being mindful. Haiku is often misunderstood. Did you know that it is always written in present tense? It’s about capturing what is happening “in the moment”. In traditional Japanese haiku, images of nature and the seasons are often used. A seasonal word kigo or a reference to the season is what makes a haiku true to its Japanese origins. In Japan, New Years is often considered to be a fifth season and there are many haiku poems written about and written on New Years day.

In the old calendar [New Year’s Day] was about the beginning of spring, and considered a doubly auspicious day. Now moved to January 1 as a result of the new calendar, New Year’s Day is still treated as the beginning of spring by some haikai poets.” As quoted in the book “The Haiku Seasons” by William J Higginson.

Centuries ago in Japan, haiku poets would use New Year’s celebrations and observances to write. The beginning of spring was often thought of as a new year so season words specific to celebrating the New Year moved into a special “fifth season” (1-15 Jan), and while they are still connected and remain in early spring (mid-Feb). Many season words today still carry both meanings for traditional haiku poets.

Here are a couple of New Year’s haiku by some of the great haiku master poets of Japan. The simplicity of them is what makes them timeless and reflective of everyday moments in life that could have easily been written today.

 

New Year’s morning:
the ducks on the pond
quack and quack

Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827)

 

New Year’s Day –
thinking of a lonely
autumn nightfall

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

 

Read more here to learn a bit more about haiku and how the New Year is celebrated as a fifth season in Japan.

Happy New Year

Start the new year with the gift of learning something new. I’m thrilled to offer you my Haiku Just for You online Course that shows you the joy in writing and creating haiku poetry. This course introduces you to haiku, some of the most famous early poets, and provides an easy to follow series of five lessons, companion workbooks, stunning graphic templates, a collection of evocative one-liners you can mix and match and a nicely illustrated journal in PDF.

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