Year’s End

Year’s end,

all corners

of this floating world, swept.

— Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694), “Zen Poetry: Let the Spring Breeze Enter.” Translated by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:44 am, December 31, 2021. 45° F & light fog. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.
  • Haiku: Thank you Whiskey River

Sunday Morning

First blossoms.

Seeing them extends my life seventy-five more years.

~Matsuo Bashō, “haiku 96”, from “Reading Basho with My Ten Year Old” in Paris Review, April 29, 2020


Notes:

  • Photo: DK on Run This morning. 6:11 am.
  • Matsuo Bashō, born 松尾 金作, was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. He is recognized as the greatest master of haiku. He was born in 1644 and died in 1694

Real poetry is to lead a beautiful life…

The Gentlest and Greatest Friend of Moon and Winds.  Basho, 1644 – 1694

artemisdreamingMany years ago there went wandering through Japan, sometimes on the back of a horse, sometimes afoot, in poor pilgrim’s clothes, the kindest, most simple hearted of men…Basho, friend of moon and winds. Though Basho was born of one of the noblest classes in Japan, and might have been welcome in palaces, he chose to wander, and to be comrade and teacher of men and women, boys and girls in all different stations of life, from the lowest to the highest.  Basho bathed in the running brooks, rested in shady valleys, sought shelter from sudden rains under some tree on the moor, and sighed with the country folk as he watched the cherry blossoms in their last pink shower, fluttering down from the trees.  Now he slept at some country inn, landscape in the moonlightstumbling in at its door at nightfall, wearied from long hours of travelling, yet never too tired to note the lovely wisteria vine, drooping its delicate lavender blossoms over the veranda.  Sometimes he slept in the poor hut of a peasant, but most often his bed was out-of-doors, and his pillow a stone.

When Basho came upon a little violet hiding shyly in the grass on a mountain pathway, it whispered its secret to him.  “Modesty, gentleness, and simplicity!” it said.  “These are the truly beautiful things.”

Glistening drops of dew on the petal of a flower had  voice and a song for him likewise. “Purity,” they sang, “is the loveliest thing in life.

The pine tree, fresh and ever green amid winter’s harshest storms, spoke staunchly of hardy manhood;  the mountains had their message of patience, the moon its song of glory!  Rivers, forests, waterfalls, all told their secrets to Basho, and these secrets that Nature revealed to him, he loved to show to others, for the whole of living of life was to him one great poem, as of some holy service in the shadow of a temple.

“Real poetry,” said Basho, “is to lead a beautiful life.  To live poetry is better than to write it.”  And whenever he saw one of his young students being rude, in a fit of anger, or otherwise acting unworthily, he would gently lay his hand on the arm of the youth and say; “But this is not poetry! This is not poetry.”

~ Olive Beaupré Miller, A children’s book titled Little Pictures of Japan originally published in 1925

 

 


Source: artemisdreaming via madamescherzo

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