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

 



Home  >  Topics  >  Children and Teens  >  C-07


The Poet of Children – 107 Poems

The vast variety of Basho poems about children and teenagers

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

Of all the portraits of children and teens in world literature, the earliest and most numerous, diverse, and insightful are by Basho (not only haiku, but far more renku),  although mostly unknown. They have been neglected by scholars and translators so very few people know they exist in Japanese anthologies. In this article, Basho’s renku stanzas appear with preceding or following stanzas by other poets to complement his visions of children and teenagers.

 

Here, the verses are presented without commentaries; .

To see the verses along with Japanese originals and commentaries:

 

        For verses on  BEING A BABY, see article C-8
        For verses on  AGE 3 TO 7,  article C-9
        For verses on AGE 7 TO 12, article C-10
          For verses on TEENAGERS, article C-11

 

Most verses do not specify age: I have placed them according to my limited knowledge of child development, and you may see the children at different ages than I do

 

Being a Baby

 For verses with Japanese and commentaries see  https://www.basho4humanity.com/topic-description.php?ID=1525956655
 1                               

We plant it
as we would a baby

cherry tree

 

 

2                       

Breastfeeding on my lap

what dreams do you see?

                           

 3                          

Floating grasses

tied in a bundle, pillow

 firm and steady

 Child of a shell diver
 breastfeeds on the boat
 

4

A beautiful child
asleep on her lap

Far from village
under cherry in bloom
roasting tofu 
 

5

His old padded jacket
makes the young look old

Soundly, so soundly
the babe in remembrance
is put to sleep
 

6

Calculating
how to get through life
in the Capital

They send no notice 

of daughter's joyful birth

 

You hear the monkey,
what about this abandoned child
in the autumn wind?
 

8

Wearing frost,
the wind for a bedcover
abandoned child

 

9

Wind from the pines
blows steadily on and on
past midnight

There’s an abandoned child”
reports the gatekeeper
 

10

The aged nun has
a story to tell us

Filled with pity,
her message to rescue
abandoned child

A deer pulls the sleeve
of someone in village

 

11

Farmers get seedlings
from ancestral house

Morning moon,
leave baby to rock
in the cradle

 

12

Boiled bamboo shoots
a baby’s drool dribbling
dew on bamboo grass

 

13

Frantically
crying baby is thrust
into the cradle

Carpenters and roofers
go home as it darkens

 

14

Facing into the wind
his wind-blown face

Plump and healthy
the young son sitting
on the lap

 

15

Withering gusts
cheeks swollen and painful
face with mumps

 

16 

After having measles

traces are a benefit

One foot at a time

replaced, succession of
straw sandles

 

 

17

The crying child’s
face is such a mess

Renting a room

they make no fire
to boil rice

 

18

On straw mat
we are stuck with unsold
market greens

Crawling baby manages
to snatch rice from tray

 

19

Flawless blue
fabric spreads out over
the large yard

The child crawls about,
getting ‘that place’ dirty

 

20
Blessing the newborn I name Kasane:
 

Spring passes by
again and again in layers
of blossom-kimono
may you see wrinkles
come with old age

 

 

 Age 3 to 7

For verses with Japanese and commentaries, see

https://www.basho4humanity.com/topic-description.php?ID=1525956684

21

On the saddle
sits their “little monk”
daikon gathering

 

22

Ancestors, parents,
grandchildren in prosperity
persimmons, mikans

 

23

Hey children!
Let’s go rushing out
gems of hail

 

24

Ho-toto-GI-su
singing, singing, flying

Oh so busy!

 

25

New to her ears

little sister announces
ho-toto-GI-su

 

 

26

Hibiscus -
a naked little child’s
hair ornament

 

 

27 

Spring rain –
sprouted to two leaves
eggplant seed

 

28

Spring rain is
tears at the tonsure
of a little boy

 

29

Wake up! Wake up!
Wouldn’t you be my friend?
sleeping butterfly?

 

30

Adorable
drawn on a melon
Empress to be

 

31

Well children

the noon glories have bloomed
let’s peel the melons

 

32
             
I found a piece of paper I had drawn a picture on
and thrown away, so with affection for my boyhood
long ago, I wrote this verse on it:

Bamboo shoots –

as a child absorbed

in drawing them

 

33

Taking a nap, then playing,
they are friends for O-Bon

 

34

Before he leaves
she takes out the chill
from his jacket

When young they both

are innocent in love

 

35

Quietly peeking
into sake revelry –

In the bedroom

no one is sleeping
evening moon

 

36

First he wipes off dew
bamboo for hunting bow

Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears

White shroud passing on
procession of mourners

 

37

Majestic Chinese
gables on the tile roof
of a herbalist

A child well-treated
should not be skinny

 

38

Bonfire past,
neighborhood children
play at Noh

For time of five spring 
preparations for life

 

 

39

Musk melon so big
we both can enjoy −

Having fun with

scraps of hemp fabric
mother has cut

 

 

40

Mingling as they
fall, sleet and hail 

keep on falling

Wiping palms of our hands

we make things with paste

 

41

Quietly descending
hand of the dancer

More than appears

small child is obedient
to the Energy

 

 

 Age 7 to 12

For verses with Japanese and commentaries see 
https://www.basho4humanity.com/topic-description.php?ID=1525956696
42

Before my eyes                                                    the scene just as is
 makes a verse

As a child turns seven
face becomes clear

 

 

43

 With her needle
in autumn she manages
to make ends meet

Daughter playing koto
reaches age seven

                           

 
44                          

 For some coolness
 kids throw off their clothes

 waiting for the moon 

 Straw mats their shields
 they run and jump about

“Are you asleep?”
strange that the dog’s tail
holds round shape

 

  45                       

Young and helpless
with bow and arrows,

the boy kneels

White hair seen through
gaps in bamboo blind

 

 

46

Rarely emerging
from mountain shadow,
a cow pisses

Lacquered sheaths dewy
boys’ swords hang low
 

47

Granddaddy’’s ball sack
sticks to the brushwood

All the children
the “God of Poverty”
they call this

 

 

48

Knocking on back door
and running away home

She cries and cries
with never a conclusion
to her hiccups

 

 

49 

 The monk praises the child
who is slow at learning

Winter-withered
pitiful the fallen oranges
covered with frost

Hardly ever used
the bath tub leaks

 

 

50

All the children

I see have this year’s
smallpox scars

 

 

51

Harvest Moon –
children standing in line
temple verandah

 

 

52 

The moon clear –
attendant to a child
scared by a fox

 

 

53

Sacred child’s
one tree so lovely
plum in bloom

 

 

54 

Hey children!
Let’s go rushing out
gems of hail

 

 

55        
In the hills of Iga, at play with children:

 

First snowfall,
from the fur of rabbits
make your whiskers!

 

 

56 

Boys! Leave some
plum branches unbroken
to prod your ox

 

 

57 

Fisherman’s child
to announce a whale
blows on a shell

 

 

58

Tired of children
for the one who says this
no blossoms

 

 

59 

Missing teeth, Granddad’s
nembutsu sounds strange

 

 

60 

Plum blossom scent –

old storybooks read
by a young girl

 

 

61   

Your copy books --

from whose satchel shall

the year spring?

 

62

Nine-year old 
high priest's high spirit 
last the autumn

 

63

Starting to learn
the alphabet from
ra-mu-u-i-no -

Foolishness has stopped,
youngster in the bedroom

 

 

64 

Sleeve on one side
missing, winter shower
gets inside robe

Four or five sons
barking in a ruckus

 

 

65

Glaring about,
she orders the children
to “behave!”

While roasting balls of miso

some ash she puffs away

 

66

 Socks taken off to dry
air shimmers from wall

At New Year
we take along our
little buggers

Though meaning we hide
they stand and listen

 

 

67

Water forbidden
black hair’s distress --

At an age
to take care of dolls
she is lovely

Harp held in her hands
heavy upon her lap

 

 

68 

“Lingering on…”
I take down the doll and
look at her face
Again starting to weep
the cough of consumption

 

 

69

No one comes
to make little sister
give me a break

Boiling rice is a drag
my eyes fill with tears

 

 

70 

Lilies of the field
in crescent moon shadow
line up in bloom
To my dear children
what can compare?

 

 

Teenagers

For verses with Japanese and commentaries, see 

https://www.basho4humanity.com/topic-description.php?ID=1525956707

71 

White cloth in the breeze
lark sings to the sky

Girls only
going to view blossoms
rise in a flock

 

 

72 

Gradually
helped to sit up, she
combs her hair

Cat fondly caressed
by the one I adore

To stop blossoms
from falling, if only
there was a way

 

 

73

Winter solstice on porch
my desperation for love!

No matter now 

I make up and dress,

gazing not back

 

74

Beauty of her voice
when she has a cold

Sliding back
her tray with lunch
untouched

 

75

Youngest daughter hates
the mole on her face 

Robe for dancing,
aimlessly she folds it
inside the box

 

76

Vulgar words to insult

the wife and daughter

All the guests
sit there cold, freezing
at the kotatsu

 

 

77

That clique of
smart-ass co-workers
hates on her

Cinder burns her hem
so she rubs it out

 

78

Every one of you
in nadeshiko time

Starting to cry
earthenware shall tremble
in your weakness

 

 

79

To quiet down
the unsettled heart
of the daughter

Night sweats have stopped
in this morning’s dream

 

80

Spring arrives late in
sacred Nachi Mountains

New Year’s Arrow:
all the young sons try
to shoot the best

 

 

81

Along with his tears
hillbilly’s dumb poem –

He combs his hair
with bear grease, oh what
a horrible name!

 

82

Writing a letter
to his first beloved
his hand falters --

Accustomed to the world
the monk makes it risqué

 

 

83

The Priest sends back

my ordinary clothing

That my face
resembles my mother’s
fascinates

 

84

Steadily growing taller
older and younger brothers

Just one time
to see the Big City,
our small business

Drawing water from basin
before entrance to shrine

 

 

85

Midnight waking
his finger movements
play the flute

Good practice together
at older brother’s knee

 

At Suma Temple (where 500 years before died the teenage Atsumori)

 

86

In the shade
of green leaves to hear
his unblown flute

 

 

87

After the years
of grieving . . . finally
past eighteen . . .

Day and night dreams
of Father in that battle

 

 

88

Traces of snow
cleared off by the wind,
moon in haze

Her futon rolled up
she dreams of love

 

 

89

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

A daughter named
San, afterwards, her
thoughts of love

 

 

90

From slender threads
love gets so intense -

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

she commands me

 

 

91

Chopping greens
to serve on top of rice,
thoughts elsewhere -

Not out with the horse
but inside making love

 

92

Wretched in love
little sister gazes at
the evening sky

In those clouds, whose
tears are contained?

 

 

93

Company boss
got our chrysanthemums,
what a pain!

Strict not to let his
daughter meet people

 

 

94

Taro field torn apart
the wild boar returns

Child of poverty
learns to wait for love
in the autumn wind

 

 

95

Making love to young lord
clouds over hunting ground

Our first princess
in headman’s household
shall be nurtured

 

96

Hands removing
rice-seedlings long ago
rubbing on dye

 

 

97

Evening dusk,
going back for the pipe
he left behind

Rice maidens for fun
throw mud at each other

 

 

98

Only my face
by rice-seedling mud
is not soiled

 

 

99

Rice planting
maidens are lined up
to drink sake -

Holding snow in summer
twin peaks of Tsukuba

 

 

100

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

 

 

101

Clinging to mama
she turns her back on
the moon’s orb

 

 

102

Blackwood smoldering
shack hidden in a hollow

To whom can she
be given as a bride?
her thoughts of love

Lilies all over the field
soaked by her tears

 

 

103

Left or right
wherever I put my tray
the loneliness

 

 

104

The boss pretends
not to see their love
yet he knows

Figures half-hidden
behind the umbrella

 

 

105

Wrapping rice cake
with one hand she tucks
hair behind ear

 

 

106

With her heart? she writes
his name in cursive script

Standing away
from lantern, faces hide 
from each other

 

 

107

He lets her lover in

lock on mansion gate

Leaning against
folding screen, the maids
knock it over –

Wretched the bathroom’s
bamboo floorboards
 

 

 

 

 

 

 






<< Play-Women from Niigata (C-06) (C-08) Being a Baby – Commentaries for #s 1 - 20 >>


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