Marie-Noëlle de La Poype
Sculpture #13, 2015
Posts Tagged ‘ Basho ’
a wild sea –
stretching to Sado Isle
the Milky Way
Comment: This haiku is framed by the natural landscape, a “wild sea” (L1) and the “Milky Way” (L3) through Bashō’s effective use of inversion (in both the Japanese original and the English translation). Sado Isle, known for its long history of political exiles, surrounded by a wild sea and lying under the Milky Way, comes to “embody the feeling of loneliness, both of the exiles at Sado and of the poet himself. The poem has a majestic, slow-moving rhythm, especially the drawn-out “o” sounds in the middle line (Sado ni yokotau), which suggests the vastness and scale of the landscape” (Haruo Shirane, Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Bashō, pp. 242-3) from — Chen-ou Liu, Never Ending Story
The epigraph to Don Wentworth’s poetic practice and to this, his second book of poems (Past All Traps came first), is a hokku by Bashō, translated by R. H. Blyth, which reads —
Yield to the willow
All the loathing, all the desire
Of your heart
Don Wentworth lives Bashō’s poetics. The small poems in Yield to the Willow, are those resilient, supple branches; they follow the snail’s glistening slime trail, begin off the page with Bashō’s hokku instruction, “go to the pine to learn about the pine . . .” They traverse this wilderness of being alive in the company of orchid, ant, robin, maple leaf, moon, and with their human manifestations Li Po, R. H. Blyth, Shiki, Blake, Woody Guthrie, Johnny Lydon, zazen, ass crack, sutra, cancer, desire. Midway, this stupa poem: ~ Donna Fleischer
that slow lope,
of nowhere to go,
been there, everywhere, before ¾
look, see, the willow
yields to you
– Don Wentworth
Yield to the Willow
The back cover sports three tributes to this astonishing collection and this is one:
As the willow’s long, slender branches sweep the wind, so the wind sweeps its branches; as the willow yields to you, so you yield to the willow. These playful, beautifully tuned wise poems touch briefly and go. – Donna Fleischer, word pond
A review of Wentworth’s first book can be found here:
Every once in a decade and a half or so, probably longer, an original artist, poet, or musician comes along, and in between the timebreaths little else but formulaic copies for profit and / or celebrity move down and off the conveyor belt of our contemporaneous world and memory. There seems to me a link of these originals to the mystical, the soulful, that imo arises from human interconnectivity, from our instantaneous enfolding of a poet, a musician, a visual artist, among us and within us. I think of Bashō and Bhanu Kapil, Bach and Nina Simone, and Goya and Ellen Carey. They are originals for all time.
Today I am adding the name of Maxwell Clark, a young poet, musician, and visual artist from New Haven, CT whom I have had the honor and multi-faceted pleasure of seeing, hearing, and being with, since first meeting him at Infinite Well in New Haven, for a recent poetry reading. Here follow some links of importance:
– Donna Fleischer
O, heart of a New Year’s pine
to endure so many frosts
* a sprig of pine, here, denotes a New Year’s decoration fixed at an entrance or gateway to signify the presence of toshigami (year-god) which will ensure prosperity and health for that year.
Ku by Bashō
Version by Scott Watson
. . . two hokku penned by the late exiled Catalan poet, Agusti Bartra, from his deathbed:
The light is teaching
the air that travels
how roses are born.
As if distracted,
on my way, I touch the tree.
Now it answers me.
Last Poems (1977-1982)
Tr. by D. Sam Abrams
All poems and texts on this site are copyright of the author(s) and should not be used or reproduced in any form without consent, yet ~
keeping in mind the words of the poet Pierre Joris, ". . . I make the arrogant claim that the poet is possibly the last, in Robert Kelly’s words, ‘scientist of the whole… to whom all data whatsoever are of use.’ . . . The prerogative of the poet is to steal directly whatever is of use, without needing to theoretically kowtow via analysis, explicatio, critical cloning or proof of pc allegiance."