Monday, January 9, 2012

Basho Revisited, sweet iris


Matsuo Basho made several journeys in his lifetime. One his most well known journeys is recorded in his 'Oku No Hosomichi' The narrow Road to the Far North. It's a wonderful piece of classical Japanese literature. In this haibun he descibes his longest journey. This journey covered about 2400 km and was done on straw sandals and with a bad health. Basho had a chronic illness. In this haibun, prose accompanied by haiku, he has given us a great amount of haiku.
In this episode and the following, say ten episodes, episodes of Basho Revisited I will choose haiku from this haibun. I hope you will enjoy these episodes.

I once have written a haibun titled 'My Narrow Road' inspired on the haibun by Basho. That haibun I have written in Dutch, so I will try to translate it and publish it here and on my other weblog, but that will take some time, because translating my haibun to English isn't that easy.

Back to this episode of Basho Revisited.

ayame gusa   ashi ni musuba n   waraji no wo

sweet Iris
I have tied them to my feet
as sandal cords

Basho was given new straw sandals by a friend. The cords were as blue as the flowers of the Iris.

As earlier said in these series I will try to write in every episode a new haiku in the Spirit of Basho. So also in this one I will try that.

red as roses
given to a beloved one
a new sweater

Is this ... a haiku in the Spirit of Basho? I think so, but it is not to me to decide that.

blue iris

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