Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story:
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Poetry and Music
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time
• Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 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 ordinary women, children, and teenagers
in hundreds of poems

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 Basho's
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 Basho Prose


The 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.


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@gmail.com

 



Home  >  Topics  >  Love and Sex in Basho  >  C-01


Love and Sex in 17 Basho Renku,

恋とセックス、芭蕉連句の17句, 日本語も romaji too

Legend:
Words of Basho in bold
Words of other poets not bold

17 outstanding Basho love and sex poems with originals in Japanese and romanized so, if you know Japanese, note that the original is just as romantic and sensual as is the translation.  

 

Google “Basho” and “love” and (aside from my own works) and you find  expressions of Basho’s love for nature or for poetry -- not the sort of love Romeo and Juliet experienced. Google “Basho” and “sex” to find Basho haiku about “cats in love” and about flowers and bees suggesting sex, however to discover Basho’s visions of humans making the beast with two backs, we must look beyond the Basho verses known to the Western world. Basho did write a few haiku on romantic love, but these are somehow not so interesting. To experience his vision of lovers in love as well as doing the deed, we must look into his renku or linked verse composed by a team of poets, each writing a stanza somehow linked to the one before. In Basho’s stanzas, we find much in the way of romance, passion, and physical sensuality.


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 by Basho:


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow

 

手     枕       に /   ほそき    腕   を   / さし入れて
Ta-makura ni / hosoki kaina o / sashi-irete

 

Lying in bed beside him, carefully maneuvering her arm under his head without waking him, gazing at his face attentive to any signs of waking, such is her delicacy, her devotion to touching him and moving around him with a fineness and sensitivity. EASING IN, by itself, can portray a woman with her lover, but we can also see a mother lying with her beloved child – and the verse is especially poignant if the child is sick or injured. We can use Basho’s words as tools to reach inside our own hearts.

 

Higashi Akimasa in his book 芭蕉の愛句, Basho no Aiku, The Love Poetry of Basho, notes the sensuality in this stanza comes not from the words about the body – “her slender forearm” – but rather from the unspoken suggestion of “the form of woman’s body in the bedroom.” Higashi says

 

This is a truly sensual love-stanza. Looking back over the history of Japanese tanka and renku, so daring a love verse is unusual, however should we not be a little surprised that the author was Basho said to be a paragon of wabi and sabi?”

 

まことに官能的な句である。日本の和歌・連歌の歴史を 遡っても、これだけ大胆に読んでいる愛句は珍しいししかも その作者が、「わび」・「さび」の権化のようにいわれている 芭蕉であるだけに、ちょっとおどろきではなかろうか。

 

Makota ni kannouteki na aiku de aru. Nihon no waka, renga no rekishi o sakanobotte mo, kore dake daitan ni yonde iru aiku wa mezurashii shi, shikamo sono sakusha, “wabi,” “sabi” no gongeno you ni iwarete iru Bashou de aru dake ni chotto odoroki de wa nakarou ka.


Higashi does not answer his rhetorical question, however I will. The notion that Basho is a “paragon of wabi and sabi” is an illusion,based on a narrow selection of impersonal and lonely haiku. Once we broaden our selection to include his linked verses, we find him to be a paragon of romance, passion, and physical sensuality.


Basho’s stanza together with the stanza that spawned it has more limited and specific meanings. In the stanza-pair on the next page, Sora portrays the rivalries among court ladies at the Imperial Palace – as in The Tale of Genji where a young woman, Kiritusbo,“summoned” by the Emperor, becomes his favorite and bears him a son, the “Shining Prince” Genji. Other court ladies, led by his senior consort, spread rumors about Kiritsubo; being women themselves, they know exactly how to shame a young woman, and she eventually sickens and dies.

 

Summonned to the palace
ashamed by the gossip

Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow

 

宮にめされし / うき名はずかし
手   枕に   /   ほそき腕を / さし入れて

 

Miya ni mesareshi / Uki na hazukashi
Ta-makura ni /hosoki kaina o / sashi-irete

 

 

Basho, however, aims for life, not death. In spite of the gossip about her and the shame it brings her, the woman in EASING IN manages to love the Emperor with all the gentleness in her heart. Basho’s stanza coming from Sora’s empowers women to overcome bullying and shame by concentrating on their feminine power both delicate and sensual.

 

The boss pretends
not to see their love
yet he knows

Figures half hidden

behind the umbrella

 

見ぬふりの / 主人に恋を / しられけり
すがた半分 / かくす傘
                             
Minufuri no / shujin ni koi o / shirarekeri
Sugata hanbun / kakusu karakasa

 

 

Walking together in town, the lovers are surprised to see, and be seen by, “the boss”. He is cool and does not say a word, but her heart shrinks with haji -- shyness, bashfulness, embarrassment. She wonders what he is thinking: does he imagine her naked and doing IT, does he condemn her for having sex without marriage? She clutches the handle to make the umbrella cover as much as possible without any movements that might attract the boss’s attention.


The first stanza is the “interesting” one, and Basho’s a cliché seen in many films. (The first kiss in Japanese film occurred in a 1946 movie A Certain Night’s Kiss, behind an open umbrella, causing great controversy.) That cliché in FIGURES HALF HIDDEN perfectly complements and completes the human story in THE BOSS PRETENDS. 

 

Miyawaki Masahiko, in  芭蕉人情句、Basho’s Verses of Human Feeling, says,


“Probably no other following stanza so well expresses the sense of shame felt

when one’s love becomes known to others."


恋を知られた羞恥をこれほど見事に描きだした付け句もないだろう。

 

Koi o shirareta shuuchi o kore hodo migoto ni kakidashita
tsukeku mo nai darou.

 

Miyawaki’s comment carries this stanza-pair deep into the  diverse realms of anthropology. Japan is said to be a “shame culture” rather than the “guilt cultures” of the Judeo-Christian world. Miyawaki is Japanese and writes about Japanese people, in particular Japanese women, but what about us, people in all sorts of different cultures, with different perceptual realities of love, young or old, married or unmarried, do we, or did we long ago, feel “shame” (or embarrassment or whatever we callit) when together with a sexual partner we are seen by an authority figure who gets the picture.

 

Winter solstice on porch
my desperation for love!

No matter how
I make up and dress
he gazes not back

 

冬至の縁に / 物おもいます
けはえども /よそえども君 / かえりみず

 

Touji no en ni /mono omoimasu
Kewae domo /yosoe domo kimi /kaeri-mizu

 

December 22nd, the Sun at its most distant point from us, his heart so distant from mine, how my desperation increases. Placing the scene on a porch attached to the house gives us a background to imagine. Basho continues the focus on the female with concrete and specific female activities. She uses all her skill with cosmetics and clothing, and looks at him with all the charm she can muster, yet he does not return her gaze.


From threads so slender
love becomes intense --

Though my thoughts
are of love, “eat something!”
she commands me

 

ほそき筋より/愛つのりつつ
物おもふ /身にもの喰えと/せつかれて

 

Hosoki suji yori / ai tsunori-tsutsu  
Mono omou / mi ni mono kue to / setsukarete

 

 

Love starts out simple but somehow becomes “intense.” Basho’s stanza makes the most sense if this is a teenage girl. “Although the turmoil of young love takes away all my appetite, mother insists I eat, to build up my slender body. Why can’t she understand that I cannot eat while this turmoil rages within me? Mother, stop bugging me!” History books never tell us about mother-daughter conflicts, so we look to Basho for information. 300 years ago or today, the daughter thinking of love, but mother of nutrition, so no meeting of minds. May this stanza-pair be a lens through which mothers and daughters will see the other’s point of view.


Folding the robe she wore,
placing irises in the folds --

A daughter named
San, afterwards, her
thoughts of love

 

たたむ衣に / 菖蒲折置
さんという/娘は後の /ものおもひ

 

Tatamu koromo ni / shoubuu ori oku
San to iu / musume wa ato no /mono omoi

 

 

Irises in clothing in storage keep away bugs, but her thoughts here are more romantic. This is the robe she wore      when she was with him. San is, in Japan, the name of a town girl rather than one from a village. She has a bit of sophistication; she is not covered with rice-planting mud. Mono omo, is literally “thoughts of things” but is an idiom for love or love’s desire. The flower tucked away between the folds may be erotic, if you wish it so. Basho focuses on the female. Providing her with a name gives her an identity, with no male presence anywhere in the pair; he is only there in her memory. In the link is the teenage girl’s experience of first love.

 

Chopping greens
to serve on top of rice,
thoughts elsewhere

Not out with the horse
but inside making love

Thread seller
coming after four-o’clock,
a wrong sound


上おきの /干葉刻むも/うはの空
馬に出ぬ日も /内で恋する
株モフ七つ /さがりを音づれて 
 

Uwa-oki no /hoshiba kizamu mo /uwa no sora

Uma ni denu hi ha / uchi de koi suru                                            

 kasekai no nanatsu / sagari no otozurete 

            

A servant girl chops dried vegetable leaves to serve on top of rice, but her mind is “elsewhere” Where is that?   Basho answers: with her lover who is a packhorse driver. She wishes for a day they can both have off, so they can hang together.  She wishes for not greens on top of mounds of soft white rice, and him on the horse, but him on top of her soft flesh; She wants him “inside making love,” inside a house, instead of out on the field where they usually make out, but also inside her. The thread seller collects thread spun by girls as piece-work, and goes around door-to-door selling it. Apparently he showed up later than expected and spied on the lovers, but made a sound which did belong so they noticed. “Coming” has the usual double meaning, one meaning for the thread seller, one for the lovers. 

 

Waves cover the rock
then they reveal it

As the pines
are battered and twisted
such is love

 

塩こす岩の /かくれあらわれ
打ちやがむ /松にも似たる /恋をして

 

Shio kosu iwa no /kakure-araware

Uchi-yagamu /matsu ni mo nitaru/ koi o shite

 

 

Pines prefer soft loose soil, so grow well on seashores. The ‘rock’ is his heart -- one minute clear and trustworthy, the next minute hidden and unreliable. The turmoil in my heart as he keeps on changing signals is what the pines close to the sea endure during storms. This Basho is so passionate!


How many moons
shall young pines be hidden
in your belly?

Asking beside the cliff 

servant giril replies not

Clear water flows
on the shore, will you stand
against the current?

 

 

幾月の / 小松がはらや / かくすらん                                                                      
とえど岩根の /下女はこたえず
磯清水 / 汝ながれを /たてぬかと

 

Iku getsu no / komatsu ga hara ya/ kakusuran
Toedo iwane no /gejo wa kotaezu
Iso shimizu /nanji nagare o /tatenu ka to


Basho asks a question of a woman who drank herbs to induce abortion. In a famous tanka by Ki no Tsurayuki, “young pines” evoke the memories of a child who has died. How long will the spirit of the child never born remain within you? Issun sends Basho’s question to a servant girl, adding a bit of yet deepening the secrecy. Basho then asks her another personal and intimate question: “Will you yield to the hormones urging you to produce more life?

 

Like a navel cord
his visits to the Yoshiwara
shall be cut off

He resents the thunder
of the midnight drum

 

へその緒を /吉原がよひ /きれはてて
かみなりの太鼓 /うらめしの中

 

Heso no o o / Yoshiwara ga yoi / kire-hatete
Kaminari no taiko / urameshi no naka

 

Money getting tight, after tonight he cannot afford to rent a woman in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters. He realizes that the connection of his penis to a courtesan’s womb resembles the connection he had with his mother. When his opportunity to reconnect with a womb-an ends, he recalls the moment his navel cord was cut. To see Basho thinking of, comparing, exploring the penis and umbilicus disposes any notion that he was impersonal or detached or non-sexual.


He has enjoyed her body and spirit until midnight when a taiko, or great drum, sounds  telling men who cannot stay the night they must leave the walled quarters. Parting from this woman he feels like being born, hearing for the first time sounds of the world unmuffled by the womb, a sound like thunder which he resents.

 

Not letting on his boots
rain falls at day break

As they part,
ever so delicate and
fascinating

 

足駄はかせぬ / 雨のあけぼの
きぬぎぬの /あまりかぼそく /あてやかな
Ashida hakasenu /ame no akebono
kinuginu no /amari kabosoku/ateyaka na


As her lover leaves to go out into the pouring rain, she stops his hands from pulling on his boots. "Stay, stay, stay – just a little bit longer.” Basho replies with a focus on her delicacy and fascination which make men feel protective and want to stay with her.

 

In her haste
nowhere can she find
the lamp oil,

She steps on his boil
so parting is wretched

 

 いそがしと /さがしかねたる/油筒              
ねぶと踏まれて /別れ詫びつつ                                                   
 
 Isogashi to/ sagashi-kanetaru /abura tsutsu
Nebu to fumarete/wakare wabitsutsu

 

The human situation and a bit of slapstick comedy; she has to get him away from her house before dawn so no neighbors will see him. She has the lantern but stumbles about in the dark searching for the bamboo flask of oil. (The futons lie on the tatami, so there is no difference in height.) Then she steps on his boil, which is excruciatingly painful for him. In his nightrobe he screams “Owww!” while she frantically struggles to apologize. The minutes pass by and the sky lightens. When finally he leaves, they do not feel so comfortable with each other.

 

I offer you two possible translations of the first stanza:

 

Not getting up                                                         I recognize his fragrance      
and I worry                         

Wiping the sweat from

sidelocks in disarray

 

                      (or)

 

Not getting up 

I recognize his smell

and am afraid

Wiping the sweat from

sidelocks in disarray

 

 

 起きもせで /きき知る匂ひ /おそろしき
 乱れし髪の /汗ぬぐひ居る

                            

Oki mo sede / kiki-shiru nioi /osoroshiki
Midareshi kami no /ase nugui iru

Top: a romantic scene, as in the Tale of Genji where perfumed aristocratic men sneak into a lady’s bedroom for secret sex. Osoroshii translates to “afraid,” however Shoko says that from a

Japanese viewpoint, the woman is not “afraid of him” – in the Tale of Genji when a man “rapes” a woman he forces himself on her, however always without assault or injury to her body – so the

speaker in this translation has no fear of him physically hurting her. Shoko –a native Japanese woman and Instructor in Japanese language – explains that what this Japanese woman fears are the

consequences in family and society of this romance becoming known. In English we call this “worrying.”


Bottom: Another reality where men are not washed and perfumed, and more violent in sex. As he enters the room, she recognizes his putrid odor, recalling other times he has used her. She does not get up to greet him; rather she cowers on the futon, steeling herself for what is to come. Feel the ominous approach of this man she fears.


Whether we accept the romantic vision or the fearful one, Basho followed with his stanza about female activity with long straight hair.In between the two stanzas is the activity and sweat and sound of sex (or rape?) in the hot moist Japanese summer without air conditioning, sex aggressive enough to mess up her hair (and the rest of her). She sits on the futon, neither screaming nor weeping, but rather sliding her fingers down the hair beside her face to wipe off sweat and straighten the strands -- drawing power from her hair to recover from her ordeal. He is gross and cruel, while she is sensitive and dignified. She is stronger than he is: she has more endurance.

 

Inkstone she keeps away,
love restrained increases

Rainy night
one at the window
is consoled

 

硯法度と/恋やせかるる
夜の雨 /窓のかたにて /なぐさまん


Suzuri hatto to / Koi yasekaruru
Yoru no ame /mado no kata nite /nagusaman

 

Apparently she has love remaining for a man married to another. She forbids herself access to her inkstone for fear she will lose control and write a letter to him, revealing her secret. She holds

back her desire which gathers like water against a dam. Basho switches to the heavy constant rain that falls in the Japanese night. She sits at the window – which, because this is Basho4Now, we are

free to imagine with glass -- and stares into the darkness and rain. Somewhere in those primeval phenomena, she finds consolation.

 

The days pile up
getting used to a woman
who floats along

The grass of love weakens
his arm for archery

 

うかれたる /女になれて/日をつもる
矢數に腕の / よわる恋草
Ukaretaru / onna ni narete /hi o tsumoru
Ya kazu ni ude no /yowaru koi-gusa

 

 

From the 17th century, at the Sanjusangendo in Kyoto, samurai competed to in a 24-hour period shoot the most arrows 120 meters to hit the target. A samuraii has given up his responsibilities and  spends his days with a play-woman who “floats along” – doing no real work (according to men’s idea of work), just riding the waves of sexual desire and fulfillment. All his manhood poured into her has left him unable to shoot thousands of arrows in 24 hours. He who discharges too many of one sort of arrow cannot shoot so many of the other sort.


Young guys are drawn to
waves of doorway curtain

Faces of men
drowned in the watery
pool of love

 

わかいものよる /のうれんの浪
恋の渕 /水におぼるる/人相有
Wakai mono yoru /nouren no name
Koi no fuchi / mizu ni oboruru / ninsou ari

 

Doorway curtains are often seen in Japan today in the entrance to a shop or restaurant; you walk through the vertical slit between two side flaps. Here the curtain is in the doorway to a brothel.

Yes, sex does lead men into some pretty miserable “pools.” We see their drowned, waterlogged faces through the flaps of doorway curtain (like in the Lord of the Rings films, the faces in the Dead Marshes)

 

Going to see traces
of a house washed away

Dojo loach soup
makes him 'do it' better
than young guys

 

家のながれた /あとを見に行く
どじょうじろ /若い者より /よくなりて
Ie no nagareta / ato o mi ni iku 
dojou-jiru / wakai sha yori / yoku narite

 

 

When we see the foundation of a house washed away by a tidal wave or typhoon with all the possessions of a family, we exclaim, “how weak and vulnerable is man against the forces of nature!” Dojo loach are slender eel-like fish, bottom-feeding scavengers, with some unique strengths: they can stay alive in poor-quality water, or cold water, or even periods of no water. Dojo loach are survivors, and soup made from then is considered an aphrodisiac. So old man, forget about that house washed away, have some dojo loach soup and be strong, strong in the loins, stronger than nature and time. Yeah, sure.  


High on top
low on bottom, how 
love is done

 

上はかみ /下はしもとて/ 物おおもい
Kami wa kami /shimo wa shimo tote /mono omoi

 

Not only in sex, but in every aspect of life, those on top stay on top – having fun and sex and leisure --

while those on bottom remain there for life. 

 

 

basho4humanity@gmail.com

 






<< Resources for Empowering Women and Girls (B-25 ) (C-02) Lovers in Love  >>


The Three Thirds of Basho

 

 

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 presentation, to receive all royalties from sales, to spread Basho’s wisdom worldwide and preserve for future generations.

 

basho4humanity@gmail.com
Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story:
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Poetry and Music
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time
• Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 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 ordinary women, children, and teenagers
in hundreds of poems

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 Basho's
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 Basho Prose


The 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