Posts Tagged ‘ Basho ’

Balloon at Cape Irago | Icebox

鷹一つ見つけてうれし伊良湖岬 (芭蕉)

To find a hawk
flying at Cape Irago —
my pleasure, deep ………………

– Basho

Source: Balloon at Cape Irago | Icebox

Spring at the Edge | Icebox

面影に花の姿をさき立てて 幾重越え来ぬ峰の白雲(俊成)
Led on and on
by the image of blossoms,
I have crossed peak beyond peak
to find nothing
but white clouds

– (Fujiwara no Shunzei)
David McCullough, translator

 

 

Source: Spring at the Edge | Icebox

First Known When Lost: Days

Who needs Eternity?  One day is enough.

All the long day —
Yet not long enough for the skylark,
Singing, singing.

Bashō (1644-1694) (translated by R. H. Blyth), in R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 2: Spring, page 195.

Source: First Known When Lost: Days

Plum Blossoms I | Icebox

Plum Blossoms I

The following is the first part of a recent haibun by Nobuyuki Yuasa (Sosui).

The fragrance of plums —

Suddenly the sun comes up

On the mountain path.                 Basho

Plum blossoms are beautiful, especially in the morning when their colours are highlighted; yet plums appeal not only to the eye but also to the nose. In fact, the scent of their blossoms is their greatest charm. When their aroma is carried on a gentle spring breeze, I am captivated by its nobility and find nothing else capable of rivalling it. In the garden I can see from my windows, white plums are just now coming out — one or two already fully out, but the rest still pinkish-white balls, some swollen and others small. It is plum blossoms at this stage that I love best, for they give us hope and trust in the future. A week from now, they will be in full bloom. Then I can enjoy their fragrance. On warm days, I shall open my windows wide to enjoy it, far superior to any artificial perfume.

I know there are plums

In the recess of darkness —

Deeply scented winds.                  Sosui

 

Source: Plum Blossoms I | Icebox

Area 17: Haiku: Somewhere a clock is ticking – Part One

700,000 olive trees remember the butterfly
Alan Summers
n.b. Eco-killers and the Anthropocene.
Publication Credit:
Bones – journal for contemporary haiku no. 7 (July 15th 2015)
700,000 oliviers se souviennent du papillon
French translation by Serge Tome
Anthology credit: EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2016 Foodcrop Haiku

Source: Area 17: Haiku: Somewhere a clock is ticking – Part One

First Known When Lost: Basho

A cloud of cherry blossoms:
The bell, — is it Ueno?
Is it Asakusa?

Basho (1644-1694).  Ueno and Asakusa are adjacent districts in Tokyo. Ueno was (and is) well-known for its cherry blossoms.  Both districts have numerous temples (and, hence, bells).

*

I believe that R. H. Blyth’s 4-volume Haiku is still (more than 60 years after its publication) the best study of the cultural, historical, philosophical, and aesthetic background of the art form.  In his preface, Blyth provides this preliminary definition:

“Haiku record what Wordsworth calls those ‘spots of time,’ those moments which for some quite mysterious reason have a peculiar significance. There is a unique quality about the poet’s state of feeling on these occasions; it may be very deep, it may be rather shallow, but there is a ‘something’ about the external things, a ‘something’ about the inner mind which is unmistakable.  Where haiku poets excel all others is in recognizing this ‘something’ in the most unlikely places and at the most unexpected times.
. . . . . . . . . .
Haiku is a kind of satori, or enlightenment, in which ‘we see into the life of things.’  We grasp the inexpressible meaning of some quite ordinary thing or fact hitherto entirely overlooked.”

R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 1: Eastern Culture (Hokuseido Press 1949), page 8.  A side-note: Blyth’s reference to Wordsworth reminds me that his knowledge of English poetry was as wide as his knowledge of haiku.  The four volumes of Haiku are interspersed with references to English poets and poems.  He also wrote an interesting book titled Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics (1942).

Source: First Known When Lost: Basho

First Known When Lost: A Dream Beneath A Summer Moon

an octopus pot —
inside, a short-lived dream
under a summer moon.

Basho (translated by Makoto Ueda), in Makoto Ueda, Basho and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary (Stanford University Press 1991), page 201.

Source: First Known When Lost: A Dream Beneath A Summer Moon