haikai

A November with Basho, Day 1

Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons

Poet Jane Dougherty led us on a November journey in 2017, when she hosted a W.B Yeats challenge in lieu of #NaNoWriMo. Inpired by her example, I have decided to embark on a comparable journey.

This november I will post excerpts from “The Narrow Road to the Interior” (Translation by Sam Hamill) by master poet and hokku/haibun originator, Basho. A few lines from his travelogue masterpiece, along with select haiku, and then I will wax poetic in the haikai style.

Care to tag along? Feel free to leave a comment to your own haikai poem in the comments below, or you can pingback to my post. Let the muse of nature and human nature in complementary union move you in whatever direction you desire to go!

The Moon and Sun are eternal travelers. Even the years wander on. A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home…

Even this grass hut

may be transformed

into a doll’s house

Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior” The Essential Basho (Trsl. Sam Hamill) pg. 3,4

An Autumnal Journey

Windblown leaves, scattered across still-grown grass, await the leafblower and blankets that will relocate them. Darkness envelops the Ramapo Valley by seven-thirty. Naked Maples stand like so many sleeping sentinels. It’s already cold.

Who makes a journey at such times? Those compelled by a wanderlust that relents for nothing. Therefore, I take the metaphysical first step in the only journey I’m prepared to make now:

Into poetry.

one line

then another

Autumnal journey

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