Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story: Basho
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Renku, Haiku, and Tanka
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time for Basho
• Basho Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 370 Basho Renku, 芭蕉連句
• Women in Basho
• BAMHAY -- Basho Amazes Me! How About You?
• New Articles


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

The only substantial
collection in English
of Basho's renku, tanka,
letters and spoken word
along with his haiku, travel
journals, and essays.

The only poet in old-time
literature who paid attention
with praise to women,
children, and teenagers

Hundreds upon hundreds of
Basho works (mostly renku)
about women, children,
teenagers, friendship,
compassion, love.

These are resources we can
use to better understand
ourselves and humanity.

Interesting and heartfelt
(not scholarly and boring)
for anyone concerned with
humanity.


“An astonishing range of
social subject matter and
compassionate intuition”


"The primordial
power of the feminine
emanating from
Basho's poetry"


Hopeful, life-affirming
messages from one of
the greatest minds ever.

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover his
"gentleness and humanity."

I plead for your help in
finding a person or group
to take over my 3000 pages
of Basho material, to edit
and improve the material,
to receive 100% of royalties,
to spread Basho’s wisdom
worldwide and preserve
for future generations.

Quotations from Prose


Days and months are guests
passing through eternity.
The years that go by
also are travelers.



The mountains in silence
nurture the spirit;
the water with movement
calms the emotions.


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


Seek not the traces
of the ancients;
seek rather the
places they sought.



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


"The attachment to Oldness
is the very worst disease
a poet can have."


“The skillful have a disease;
let a three-foot child
get the poem"


"Be sick and tired
of yesterday’s self."


"This is the path of a fresh
lively taste with aliveness
in both heart and words."
.

"In poetry is a realm
which cannot be taught.
You must pass
through it yourself.
Some poets have made
no effort to pass through,
merely counting things and
trying to remember them.
There was no passing
through the things."


"In verses of other poets,
there is too much making
and the heart’s
immediacy is lost.
What is made from
the heart is good;
the product of words
shall not be preferred."


"We can live without poetry,
yet without harmonizing
with the world’s feeling
and passing not through
human feeling, a person
cannot be fulfilled. Also,
without good friends,
this would be difficult."


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


"Many of my followers
write haiku equal to mine,
however in renku is the
bone marrow of this old man."


"Your following stanza
should suit the previous one
as an expression of the
same heart's connection."


"Link verses the way
children play."


"Make renku
ride the Energy.
Get the timing wrong,
you ruin the rhythm."


"The physical form
first of all must be graceful
then a musical quality
makes a superior verse."

"As the years passed
by to half a century.
asleep I hovered
among morning clouds
and evening dusk,
awake I was astonished
at the voices of mountain
streams and wild birds."


“These flies sure enjoy
having an unexpected
sick person.”



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


On Life's journey
plowing a small field
going and returning


Child of poverty
hulling rice, pauses to
look at the moon


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

With her needle
in autumn she manages
to make ends meet
Daughter playing koto
reaches age seven


After the years
of grieving. . . finally
past eighteen
Day and night dreams of
Father in that battle


Now to this brothel
my body has been sold
Can I trust you
with a letter I wrote,
mirror polisher?


Only my face
by rice-seedling mud
is not soiled
Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com

 



Home  >  Topics  > 


BAMHAY -- Basho Amazes Me! How About You?

Basho works which totally knock it out of the ballpark, defying all our notions of 17th century Japanese thought:  BAMHAY!!  


After Having Measles After having measles traces are a benefit One foot at a timesuccession of old sandalsreplaced by new   Basho focuses not on people dying from measles but rather them recovering. In the ye ...
M-01

Sake and Breasts Traditionally, rice was planted by teenage girls or unmarried women whose fertility was believed to transfer to the fields - however in reality older women joined the crew. They worked together planti ...
M-02

Breastfeeding on my lap Basho wrote both of these renku stanzas in 1692:   Only my faceby rice-seedling mudis not soiled --Breastfeeding on my lapwhat dreams do you see?   乳をのむ膝に / 何を夢みる 顔ばかり/ 早苗の泥に / ...
M-03

One Soft Chubby Tush Flawless blue fabric spreads out over the large yard A baby crawls aboutgetting ‘that place’ dirty   Here at the home/shop of a cloth dyer we see a perfectly woven expanse of indig ...
M-04

Basho on Sexual Passion:   At the end of summer in 1693, overcome by the death of his nephew Toin and the especially oppressive heat, Basho went into seclusion for a full month、refusing to go outside or allow ...
M-05

Engulfed by Passion Engulfed by passionto kill younger brother Sound at nightthe pine wood doorhe pries open   The first poet with only a half dozen words creates a scene of extreme emotion and terrifying po ...
M-06

Two Basho Renku on Make-Up and Dress: It amazes me that Basho – unlike any male author in world literature – paid so much attention to the feminine pursuits of make-up and clothing. How about you? Winter solstice on porchmy ...
M-07

Basho's Mona Lisa: Wrapping rice cake,with one hand she tuckshair behind ear   Chimaki yuu / katate ni hasamu / hitae-gami   A woman preparing sweets for the children bends over a bucket of rice dough, for ...
M-08

Mother and Daughter IV By moonlight washing hairwith rice bran lather Lighting lanternand providing malletsto her children   Mother works from sun up to sun down; finally she takes a break in the evening, to wash he ...
M-09

She Adorns Herself In 1683, another poet began and Basho followed: Seeds start to sproutfor our treasured grass Giving birth tolove in the world, sheadorns herself   Grains of rice are planted in nursery beds ...
M-10

Follow the Drinking Gourd Tone so clear the Big Dipper resounds her mallet   Before cotton entered Japan in the 16th century, and then where cotton was unavailable, villagers (i.e. women) made their family’s cloth ...
M-11

To a Newborn Baby Girl In the spring of 1690, Basho was asked to name a newborn girl; he called her “Kasane” which means "to pile up in layers" or "to occur again and again, in succession." and wrote this t ...
M-12

Mother and Daughter I: With her needle in autumn she manages  to make ends meet  Daughter playing music reaches age seven   This woman has enough work sewing before winter comes. She may “make&nb ...
M-13

Mother and Daughter II A few months before his death, Basho wrote and Shiko followed:   To quiet downthe unsettled heartof the daughter Night sweats have stoppedin this morning’s dream   Basho suggests, ...
M-14

The Eternal Mother By moonlightmy poor mother at workbeside the window - She hides her fingersstained with indigo   Iugen presents an image of mother, long ago and far away, doing the night work of women through ...
M-15

Can I Trust You? Most “play-women” in this era were young village girls indentured to a brothel to save the family from financial ruin. Brokers went to areas struck by famine, searching for “bargains ...
M-16

Death of Father After the yearsof grieving. . . finallypast eighteen . . . Day and night dreamsof Father in that battle   Father died in war when I was small, and I have grown up under the weight of that grie ...
M-17

Empowered by Song Her semblance of powerpebbles thrown in vain Among womenone allowed to leadthem in chorus   His boat has left harbor. She tries to reach the boat with pebbles – i.e. her love – but ...
M-18

Tigress at Daybreak With iron bowhe goes out to confronta brutal world Tigress at daybreakyearns to be pregnant   The “iron bow” suggests the folk tale of Yuriwaka betrayed by a subordinate and abando ...
M-19

Love poem by Basho The boss pretendsnot to see their loveyet he knows Figures half-hiddenbehind the umbrella   Walking together in town, the lovers are surprised to see her (or their) boss coming the other ...
M-20

Haiku and a Child's Face Basho wrote these two stanzas together in 1688: Before my eyesthe scene just as ismakes a haiku -- As a child turns sevenface becomes clear   Me no mae no / keshiki sono mama /shi ni tsukuru ...
M-21

Fear and Sexual Assault: In 1688 another poet and Basho wrote this renku stanza-pair: Not getting upI recognize his smelland am afraid Wiping the sweat fromsidelocks in disarray   As he enters the room, she recogni ...
M-22

Mother and Daughter III In 1690 Kyokusui begins and Basho follows: From slender threadslove gets so intense! Though my thoughtsare of love, “eat something!”she commands me   Love starts out simple but ...
M-23

Boy's Mischief Knocking on back doorand running away home She cries and crieswith never a conclusionto her hiccups   妻戸たたきて / 逃げて 帰りぬ泣く泣くて /しゃくりのとまる / 果て も なし   Tsumado tatakite / nigete kaerinuNaku n ...
M-24

Young and Helpless Young and helplesswith bow and arrows,the boy kneels White hair seen throughgaps in bamboo blind   The newest student at an archery dojo kneels on the floor, feeling small and weak. To this we ...
M-25

Woman in the Center Absurdly long sword /hangs from his waistEvening dusk /startled by a frog /in thick grass To pick buds of coltsfoot / lantern shaken goes out   Kyorai begins this trio with a man and his pha ...
M-26

Energy From Basho The 17th century Japanese poet Basho was a master of renku, poetry composed by a group of poets, each  writing a stanza linked to the stanza by another; he told his follower D ...
M-27

The Night Before a Battle In the cold windat sunset, long drawn-outcries of hawks Foretell the heads to fallin tomorrow’s battle   Kaze samuki yuuhi ni /kari no koe hikiteIkusa ni asu no / kubi o uranau   ...
M-28

Cat Sex She resents the snarlingcries of cats fighting High on top,low on bottom, howlove is done   Cats and humans do it the same way: as a struggle for dominance and being on top. Not only in sex ...
M-29

Love in One Basho Renku A single renku stanza, without the baggage of the previous stanza or the very different baggage of the following stanza, can apply to a wide range of circumstances: For instance, this stanza ...
M-30

Are You Stoned? Evening dusk, going back for the pipehe left behind Rice maidens for fun throw mud at eachother   A traveler took a break to sit and smoke his pipe; the verse does not say what he was s ...
M-31

Beating Down Women and Girls Feminist Tokuza Akiko says that in Basho’s time and society, “criticism of women’s intelligence, autonomy, and moral worth (was) essential to the total subordination of women tha ...
M-32

Fickle one! Boncho begins,  Basho takes the middle, and Kyorai concludes:  His carriage pulls inthe neighbor’s gateway “Fickle one,under hedge of spikesyou must crawl!” Now, before ...
M-33

Basho's Most Erotic Haiku On his journey to the Deep North, he is in Obanazawa, a town famous for growing safflowers and producing the orange-red dye used in make-up and to color a woman's under-kimono. A red und ...
M-34

Sword Drawn in a Flash Dew for his opponentsword drawn in a flash Town notablestogether getting drunkunder blossoms   Basho uses the word iai for a practitioner of the martial art we now call iaido, the art of ...
M-35

A Mole on her Face Youngest daughter hatesthe mole on her face Robe for dancingaimlessly she folds itinside the box   The mole does not interfere with her intelligence or motor ability, but everyone who mee ...
M-36

Basho and Taima Basho begins and Kikaku follows:   Miracles fromofferings to the Goddessshining on blossoms Bird of good fortunebuilds her nest with hemp   Basho sees the Sun Goddess Amaterasu in sunli ...
M-37

Misogyny and Menstruation in Basho Renku Here in 1679 Basho begins and another poet follows: “Weak as green willow” the wife is despised - ‘Path of blood’her day by day miseryin the spring rain   Willow br ...
M-38

Penis Recalls Umbilicus Basho totally astounds me with this renku stanza, and another poet does a good job following:   Like his navel cordhis visits to the Yoshiwarashall be cut off He resents the thunderof the midn ...
M-39

Tuberculosis Millions throughout time have suffered and died from tuberculosis whose classic symptoms are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. The term "con ...
M-40


Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story: Basho
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Renku, Haiku, and Tanka
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time for Basho
• Basho Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 370 Basho Renku, 芭蕉連句
• Women in Basho
• BAMHAY -- Basho Amazes Me! How About You?
• New Articles


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

The only substantial
collection in English
of Basho's renku, tanka,
letters and spoken word
along with his haiku, travel
journals, and essays.

The only poet in old-time
literature who paid attention
with praise to women,
children, and teenagers

Hundreds upon hundreds of
Basho works (mostly renku)
about women, children,
teenagers, friendship,
compassion, love.

These are resources we can
use to better understand
ourselves and humanity.

Interesting and heartfelt
(not scholarly and boring)
for anyone concerned with
humanity.


“An astonishing range of
social subject matter and
compassionate intuition”


"The primordial
power of the feminine
emanating from
Basho's poetry"


Hopeful, life-affirming
messages from one of
the greatest minds ever.

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover his
"gentleness and humanity."

I plead for your help in
finding a person or group
to take over my 3000 pages
of Basho material, to edit
and improve the material,
to receive 100% of royalties,
to spread Basho’s wisdom
worldwide and preserve
for future generations.

Quotations from Prose


Days and months are guests
passing through eternity.
The years that go by
also are travelers.



The mountains in silence
nurture the spirit;
the water with movement
calms the emotions.


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


Seek not the traces
of the ancients;
seek rather the
places they sought.



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


"The attachment to Oldness
is the very worst disease
a poet can have."


“The skillful have a disease;
let a three-foot child
get the poem"


"Be sick and tired
of yesterday’s self."


"This is the path of a fresh
lively taste with aliveness
in both heart and words."
.

"In poetry is a realm
which cannot be taught.
You must pass
through it yourself.
Some poets have made
no effort to pass through,
merely counting things and
trying to remember them.
There was no passing
through the things."


"In verses of other poets,
there is too much making
and the heart’s
immediacy is lost.
What is made from
the heart is good;
the product of words
shall not be preferred."


"We can live without poetry,
yet without harmonizing
with the world’s feeling
and passing not through
human feeling, a person
cannot be fulfilled. Also,
without good friends,
this would be difficult."


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


"Many of my followers
write haiku equal to mine,
however in renku is the
bone marrow of this old man."


"Your following stanza
should suit the previous one
as an expression of the
same heart's connection."


"Link verses the way
children play."


"Make renku
ride the Energy.
Get the timing wrong,
you ruin the rhythm."


"The physical form
first of all must be graceful
then a musical quality
makes a superior verse."

"As the years passed
by to half a century.
asleep I hovered
among morning clouds
and evening dusk,
awake I was astonished
at the voices of mountain
streams and wild birds."


“These flies sure enjoy
having an unexpected
sick person.”



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


On Life's journey
plowing a small field
going and returning


Child of poverty
hulling rice, pauses to
look at the moon


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

With her needle
in autumn she manages
to make ends meet
Daughter playing koto
reaches age seven


After the years
of grieving. . . finally
past eighteen
Day and night dreams of
Father in that battle


Now to this brothel
my body has been sold
Can I trust you
with a letter I wrote,
mirror polisher?


Only my face
by rice-seedling mud
is not soiled
Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com