Thursday, October 25, 2012

Basho Revisited, young leaves

Also published and shared on: Carpe Diem

In the Spring of 1688, when he was 43, Basho was still interested in youngsters. He himself became older and felt that his youth was over. In his haiku we can read the strong longing for his youth, but no one can turn back to his or her youth. Of course when an elderly man or woman becomes demented they go back to their childhood. Everyone knows that.
Basho also knew that, but his longing to go back to his youth was still strong.
As an adult I to think back to my childhood. I have had a wonderful youth, but ... to go back ... I don't think so.
As a haiku poet one can go back to that feeling of youth. It's easy, because I write a haiku of Spring and I am back in my youth. Spring is, in my opinion, synonymous with youth. Nature comes alive, trees began flowering again and than ... all those wonderful blooming cherry trees and plum trees giving me a sense of youth. I enjoy Spring as the season where in I can go back, by feeling of course, to my youth.
Basho also did this. He has written a lot of Spring haiku, the next ... also is a Spring haiku.

wakaba shite    om me no shizuku    nuguwa baya

young leaves
I would like to wipe away
tears in your eyes

Credits: Young leaves with dew

In this one 'the longing for youth' is essential. In the first two sentences it's clearly that he was longing for his youth. He thinks of the good times of his youth and got tears in his eyes.
On the other hand ... this haiku implicates his love for youngsters, especially boys (as we already know, Basho was homosexual). He sees the young boys, who are sad and have tears in their eyes. He would like to comfort them and wipe their tears away with his love and make them laugh again.
It's so touchy to see this haiku and picture it in front of your eyes. I think this is an emotional scene which he composed in this haiku. It's a sin I think, to write another haiku by myself in the same sense as Basho's, but I will give it a try.

such sadness
to see tears on young leaves
the bright sunlight

Well ... I did it ...:)

In this particular haiku tears are synonym with dew drops as you can see on the picture above.



  1. I wonder if some of the tears in the young boys' eyes was about the trauma of Basho as a pedophile abuser? Is that too far out of the park?

    1. That could be, but in his time pedophilia was an accepted way of living. Nowadays it's forbidden every where and that's in my opinion the only way to deal with this.
      As in Basho's time homosexuality was accepted in the world of Art. In Japan it's still accepted as a normal way of living, but pedophilia is also forbidden there. So maybe your thought on this is too far out of the park.

  2. Replies
    1. Sometimes this contrast makes a haiku a 'masterpiece'.

  3. Very well don Kris. Perhaps the sunlight will dry up those tears.

  4. Ahh I begin to grasp the mastership of Haiku masters.

    1. Basho was really a haiku master. As we will also see in November when Kobayashi Issa is the haiku master for the Special Prompts of Carpe Diem.