Posts Tagged ‘ Blyth ’

First Known When Lost: Blue

A flower unknown
To bird and butterfly, —
The sky of autumn.

Basho (translated by R. H. Blyth), in R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 4: Autumn-Winter (Hokuseido Press 1952), page xxxii.

Source: First Known When Lost: Blue

Yield To The Willow by Don Wentworth / Six Gallery Press


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: