Sunday, January 1, 2012

Basho Revisited, planting a banana tree

In the Spring of 1681 a disciple of Basho, called Rika, presented him a banana tree (a Basho). From that moment on he changed his name to Basho and his home was called 'Basho-an' (the banana tree cottage).
As Basho he became a famous haiku master. His earlier haiku, which he wrote under several pseudonyms, are now also known as haiku written by Basho.
The first haiku he wrote as Basho was the following one:

basho ue te    mazu nikumu ogi no    futaba kana

planting a banana tree
more than ever I hate
sprouting reeds

This haiku isn't well known, but according to Jane Reichhold's Old Pond: Basho's (almost) thousand haiku, this was the first he wrote as Basho.
I don't like this haiku, because it's a haiku with a negative feeling in my opinion. On the other hand ... I can sense the hatred in this one.

with tears in my eyes
I look at the sprouting reeds
of the Bamboo

I can't write haiku with the feeling of hate, but this one comes close. As you may know Bamboo can overgrow your garden in a short time. You can cut it, but it will soon sprout again. When you will got rid of it you have to cut and remove the roots.
I love Bamboo but I 'hate' the fast sprouting of it.

Maybe ... my haiku is in the Spirit of Basho as well, without the strong word 'hate' in it, but the tears.

Until next time,


Also published for:

Thursday Poets Rally week 59

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