Sunday, March 18, 2012

Basho Revisited, why have you changed

Basho had a few real friends and a lot of disciples. He wasn't an easy man to deal with, but always righteous.
The following haiku is an example of Basho written as consideration for one of his friends.

aoku te mo   aru beki mono wo   togarashi

though green
why have you changed
red pepper

This verse was the starting link for a 36-link renga Basho wrote with Ranzan and Taisu. It was the result of the visit of Shado, a physician from Omi, who stayed with Basho at his new home from September to the following January. Basho was concerned about his impatient and ambitious personality. Later, his feelings proved valid as it was Shado who caused friction among the disciples due to his lack of consideration for others. This hurt Basho very much. In the end, Shado abandoned Basho and refused to attend his funeral.
Why? Basho was a haiku poet with great love and consideration with nature and humanity. He was into Zen Buddhism and therefor someone who had completely efface Self. To write a new haiku in the same sense as the one by Basho will be tough. I am almost the same as Basho, not a Zen Buddhist, but I am considered with all and everything around me. Maybe this is the result of being a male oncology nurse. My love is unconditional and I see in every human a part of God as God is part of everyone and everything.

heat of summer
the roses in my backyard
have decomposed

A sad day. After the heat wave my roses died unless the daily watering. Is this a haiku in the same way as that by Basho? I think so.

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