Tag: haikai

A November with Basho, Day 13

The Mogami flows from the Michinoku at the far norther edge of Yamagata country. It is dangerous through Go Stone Rapids and Falcon Rapids, circumscribing northern Moutn Itajiki to meet the sea at Sakata. Mountains rose from either side of the boat as we sped between the trees. […]

A November with Basho, Day 12

In Yamagata Province, the ancient temple founded by Jikaku Daishi in 860, Ryushaku Temple is stone quiet, perfectly tidy… Monks at the foot of the mountain offered rooms, then we climbed the ridge to the temple, scrambling through ancient gnarled pine and oak, gray smooth stones and moss. […]

A November with Basho, Day 11

Here (Hiraizumi) three generations of the Fujiwara clan passed as though in a dream. The great outer gates lay in runis. Where Hidehira’s manor stood, rice fields grew. Only Mount Kinkei remained. I climbed the hill where Yoshitsune died; I saw the Kitakami, a broad stream flowing down […]

A November with Basho, Day 10

Ojima Beach is not–as its name implies–an island, but a strand projected into the bay. Here one finds the runis of Ungo Zenji’s hermitage and the rock where he sat zazen…Smoke of burning leaves and pine cones drew me on, touching something deep inside. Then the moon rose, […]

A November with Basho, Day 9

Deeply touched by the famous pine at Takekuma, twin trunks just as long ago… reported to have been cut down and replaced several times, it stood like a relic of a thousand years, impossibly perfect. The poet Kyohaka had given me a poem at my departure: remember to […]