Saturday, January 7, 2012

Basho Revisited, a good day

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)
 Basho was the leader/master of a renga group at Yakushiji Temple. They came once in a month together to write renga.
The biggest part of Basho's haiku were written during renga sessions.
Renga was a chain-like poem in which several poets were working together to make a long chain of poems. (There are renga known with over 1000 verses). The first verse of the Renga was called 'hokku' and as we can see, this was the verse we now know as haiku (Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), another haiku poet, introduced the name haiku, which now is commonly in use for this kind of verse). Haiku that emerged from a Renga can also be called 'haikai'.

A lot of his haiku were the 'hokku' of a Renga. The following haiku was the 'hokku' of one of the monthly meetings of the renga-group at Yakushiji Temple.

hatsu zakura    orishimo kyo wa    yoki hi nari

first cherry blossoms
it just happens to be
a good day

As we can read, this haiku is of Spring. It was written in 1688, Basho was at that time 43 yrs of age and a well known and established haikumaster with a group of students. With his students he also wrote Renga.
I have been part of several renga sessions and I loved doing renga.
Maybe it's an idea to write a few blogs about Renga. I love renga sessions and it brings us back to the classical time of this Japanese verse.

Back to Basho Revisited. In part one of Basho Revisited I stated to write in every part a new haiku. So ... the next haiku I wrote for this part of Basho Revisited.

what a day!
the Cherry tree in full bloom
in the light of dawn

This haiku is about the Cherry tree in my own backyard. I love that tree and I would never cut it down.

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