Sunday, January 1, 2012

Basho Revisited, nostalgia

GOOSEBERRYGARDEN's Poetry Picnic on "nostalgia"

Gooseberrygarden's Poetry Picnic
I am invited to the Poetry Picnic of the Gooseberrygarden to write some new poems, in my case haiku. I am grateful that they have invited me (again) to join in. The theme for this Poetry Picnic is families, memories and nostalgia. Very well chosen themes, but not easy to write upon. So I have chosen for the theme "nostalgia".
This weeks contribution to the Poetry Picnic is based on a haiku by Matsuo basho (1644-1694), a haikumaster and my "idol".

if taken into my hand
melting in the heat of tears
autumn frost

This verse by Basho touches me deep. It's about his mother who died when he was a young boy. In the preface of this haiku he is saying the following:

"At the beginning of September I came back home. It was already long since my mother had died. The grass in front of mother's room had withered in the frost. Everything had changed. The hair of my brother and sisters was white and they had wrinkles between their eyebrows. We could only say: 'We are fortunate to be still alive'. My elder brother openend an amulet case and said reverently to me. 'Look, at mother's white hair. You have come back after such a long time. So this is like the Tamate box of Urashim Taro (an old legend in japan). Your eyebrows have become white'. We wept for a while and then I composed this verse.(Source: Jane Reichhold's Old Pond: Basho's (almost) thousand haiku)

This verse of Basho is not a well known one, but it touches me so deep, because it brings painful memories. My Grandparents are all gone and also my elder brother died. As I look into the mirror my hair is starting to become grey. When my brother was still alive he surely would be grey because he was several years older.

As inspired by this haiku of basho I wrote:

life passes -
in the early sunlight
the ripe melts

frost on the branches
melts in the early sunlight
life passes

Credits: Ripe on bare trees
my hair turned grey
as if it was the frost
on bare branches

a pebble
thrown into the old pond
in an eye blink it's gone

This haiku has the same tone and sense of the one by Basho. Ripe melting in the sunlight goes fast. Life also goes fast and just like the ripe in the sunlight life passes. I think this is the meaning of writing haiku. Life is a fleeting world. Just like time flies our life passes by in just a moment, in just an eye blink.

Happy Poetry Picnic,


1 comment:

  1. This struck a chord with I am an RN that specialized in gerontology, not just with the elderly, but with the concept of the whole family involvement.
    The graying of hair...I will muse on that. I have not seen my brother in maybe 35 years. He says he now looks like our father. He was always fair and blonde. I wonder about the gray hair...
    Lots to think about here.
    Altho my writing group does not focus on haiku ... I think I will try to find a way to introduce the idea to the group and my writing will be haiku.
    Thank you.