A November with Basho, Day 7

Crossed on the ferry at Tsukinowa to the post town of Se-no-ue to see the ruins that were Sato Shoji’s house, beyond town to the left, near the mountains. We were told to look at Saba Moor in Iizuka, and we eventually came to Maru Hill where the castle ruins lay. Seeing the main gate sundered, the ancient temple nearby, seeing all the family graves, my eyes glazed with tears…

Sword, chest and wind-carp

all proudly displayed

on Boys’ Festival Day

Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior,” translated by Sam Hamil, The Essential Basho, pg. 11-12

Witnessing Gettysburg

You come upon site after site along the battlefield. Devil’s Den. The Wheat Field. The Peach Orchard. The woods where the Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine held the line with fixed bayonets. How can you wrap your mind around the carnage?

You see the Monument to the fallen, the Eternal Flame, and the cemetary where Abraham Lincoln gave his brief remarks–the Gettysburg Address.

How can your eyes remain dry?

Picket’s charge

blood-soaked ground succeeded

by summer grass

for dverse Poets’ Meet the Bar by changing your perspective (pubtended by Bjorn)

The pub is open! Come join us!

17 replies »

  1. An excellent transposition from Basho to Stephen Crane. It is hard to grasp the enormity of lives lost. 10 years in the Middle East, we’ve lost 6,000 men and women. I think they lost that at Gettysburg alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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