Earlier in this series I mentioned that Basho was gay. In a lot of his haiku being gay was the theme. In his lifetime it was commonly known that in the world of arts homosexuality was normal and accepted. In this episode I will, for the last time, talk about haiku by Basho in which his being gay is the theme.
inashishi no toko ni mo iru ya kirigirisu
a wild boar
does it get in bed with
kiko no kaya nara wa iku yo no otoko buri
scent of chrysanthemum
Nara a long time ago
a handsome man
This one was included in a letter to his disciple Sampuu. Is he talking about Sampuu or about a man he had met in Nara?
sono nioi momo yori shirashi suisen kana
whiter than peaches
This was the greeting verse given to Hakusetsu, the village headman of Shinshiro at a renga party for 12 poets. He had two sons, 14 and 11 years old, which Basho gave, in his manner, his name of when he was young (green peach) which was a sign he was highly attracted to them. The Japanese peach has a nearly pure white flesh. (Source: Jane Reichhold's Old Pond: Basho's (almost) thousand haiku).
han jitsu was kami wo tomo ni ya toshi wasure
for half a day
my friend turns into a god
This was the "hokku" of a renga held at the home of Ogurusu Yugen, the Chief Priest of the temple located in the northwestern part of Kyoto.
The title of this haiku (a commonly custom) was 'A Year-End Renga Party".
yuno nagori kayoi wa hada no samukara n
tonight my skin
will miss the hot spring
it seems colder
This one Basho gave to Toyo, the son of the inn-keeper of Yamanaka Hot Springs, to whom he was greatly attracted, upon his farewell.
|Yamanaka Hot Springs|
maegami mo mada wakakusa no nioi kana
the boy's bangs
still has the smell
of young grass
The preface of this verse: "Hokaku asked for my writing on a folding fan".
Well ... this one encloses this episode in which I stood still by Basho's preference for man.
flowers and bumblebees
Until next time.
This wasn't an easy one to write.