Sunday, January 1, 2012

Basho Revisited, moon-viewing

Autumn in Japan began once while they are using the lunar calendar in August. So it began a month earlier than in the Western calendar. In "Old Pond: Basho's (almost) thousand haiku" by Jane Reichhold (Aha Poetry) the verses of Basho are situated to the Western calendar and so they are all situated a month later than the original.
The Japanese adore the Autumn moon, because they think the moon of Autumn is the most beautiful of the year. There are a lot of Japanese haiku about the moon of Autumn. The moon is a seasonal word for Autumn.

Credits: autumn moon
Basho wrote several haiku with the moon as theme, these are almost all situated in Autumn. The following haiku written by Basho around Autumn 1672 is one of the less known of his.

kyo no koyoi   neru toki mo naki   tsuki mi kana

I have no time to sleep

This haiku is written on the first moon of Autumn around the 15th. This moon-viewing festival was the most important of the year.

first day of Autumn
my heart is pounding wild
Ah! The full moon

What do you think? It's just another challenge to maybe touch a little of Basho's Spirit.


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