First Known When Lost: Life As A Work Of Art, Part Four: “Heroes Of The Sub-Plot”
” . . . be we hero or heroine (in our own minds), somebody like Keats brings us back to earth: “Call the world if you please ‘The vale of Soul-making’. Then you will find out the use of the world.” The Chinese T’ang Dynasty poets and the Japanese haiku poets possessed this knowledge (via Taoism and Buddhism) several centuries before Keats. (Which is not to fault Keats: these messages are timeless, but it seems that we have to discover them for ourselves.)
Journeying through the world, —
To and fro, to and fro,
Harrowing the small field.
Basho (translated by R. H. Blyth), in R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 4: Autumn-Winter (Hokuseido 1952).