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-09


Age 3 to 7

commentaries to Basho's #s 21 – 41 in The Poet of Children

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

Verses about the "childness" between ages 3 and 7, with Japanese and Romanized, plus commentaries to help you "apply your heart to what children do" through Basho's words.                         

 

In Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale, Polixenes speaks about his son:

He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter,
Now my sworn friend and then mine enemy,
My parasite, my soldier, statesman, all:
He makes a July's day short as December,
And with his varying childness cures in me
Thoughts that would thick my blood.

 

His child makes me get up and move about in play instead of being a couch-potato; makes him laugh,  brings him peace and conflict, depends upon him, is the most brave, the most diplomatic and cooperative, childness heals his mind and heart. That’s some praise! Basho says the same thing in fewer words:

           
              “apply your heart to what children do”

 

21

On the saddle                                                      sits their “little monk”

daikon-gathering

 

鞍壷に/ 小坊主乗るや / 大根引

Kuratsubo ni / kobōzu noru ya / daikon hiki

 

 

The leafy stalk of the daikon radish stands as tall as a small child, while the long white radish lodges deep in the ground. Fresh in winter, or pickled throughout the year, sliced or grated, daikon is eaten everyday by everyone, its enzymes aiding the digestion of oil and fat. Early winter is called ko-haru, “small spring”, for the days are often sunny and pleasant so winter already seems past. One such day, an entire farm family has come out to gather this year’s daikon crop. The youngest son, too small to help pull the thick heavy radishes from the ground, has been set on the horse tied to a tree where he will not get in the way. This is not an actual apprentice monk but rather an ordinary kid whose head has been shaved close. Because ‘daikon gathering’ in Japanese tradition suggests a happy family excursion, I have added in the word “their” – we feel not this is not just any little boy, but “their little monk”— the youngest son loved by the whole family. Basho told Doho:

 

“To have the little boy stand out in relation
to the daikon-gathering was the making of this verse”

 

The bald round head on a child‘s body “stands out” sitting on the horse high above the horizontal field, watching his elders at work.   This makes the verse. 

 

Kon explains ON THE SADDLE in this way:

 

“There is nothing to fear and all is calm and mild. Here is a candid photograph

of peaceful daikon gathering in a simple farm village, its focal point, the little boy.

A fine example of Lightness.”

 

Notice Kon‘s words: “nothing to fear…calm and mild…peaceful… simple farm village…little boy.” Such is the material for Lightness. From the words in Kon’s commentary, I define ‘Lightness’ as ‘a peaceful feeling of wholeness.’ Peace and harmony rarely appear in the newspapers or history books. People prefer to know about war and disruption.


As Basho developed his consciousness of Lightness in the final five years of his life, many of his followers objected.  These followers preferred to stay with an older, heavier, more traditional style of poetry focusing either on bold,exaggerated imagery which shocks the reader or on lonely desolate beauty which saddens. Rather than shock or sadden, Lightness leaves the reader feeling good.


22

Ancestors, parents,

prosperity of grandchildren

persimmons, mikans

 

祖父親 /孫の栄えや /柿蜜柑,
Ou jio ya mago no sakae ya / kaki mikan

 

In autumn globes of juicy fruit hanging on branches -- dark orange persimmons, and light orange Mandarin oranges) -- offer an image of prosperity. As a greeting Basho wrote to a family he visited in this season, the point of the verse to make the recipients feel good. The clear vivid orange colors are the fruits of their labor, the years and years of work -- planting fruit trees, building houses, starting businesses - to produce the prosperity of those not even born when that work was done.

 

23

Hey children!

let’s go rushing out

gems of hail

 

いざ子供 /昼顔咲かば /瓜剥かん
Iza kodomo / hirugao sakaba / uri mukan

 

Basho is actually speaking to his followers, telling them to be more like children, overcome inhibitions and fears and preference for comfort, to go out there into the cold freezing weather and live life to the fullest.

He wrote another similar haiku:

 

Hey let’s go

 snow-viewing till
we tumble over


いざ行かん雪見にころぶ所まで
 Iza yukan yukimi ni korobu tokoro made

 

I find it odd that some scholars, who are adults, think this is about worrying that one will injure oneself.

To a child, it is about having fun.

 

24

Ho toto GI su
singing, singing, flying
oh so busy!

 

ほととぎす/ 泣く泣く飛ぶぞ /いそがわし

Hototogisu / naku naku tobu zo / isogawashi

 

The bird sounds breathless, as if trying to produce the call with most beauty.  Usually it calls once, but sometimes you hear two calls in succession, as if the bird is especially busy and rushed.  And occasionally you may even see it fly.  

 

 

25

New to her ears
little sister announces
hototoGISU

 

耳うとく 妹がつげたる ほととぎす
mimi utoku / imo ga tsuketaru // hototogisu 

 

She may have heard the bird call before but never paid attention to it, never noticed the “hototoGIsu” in the sound.  “Announces” suggests her realization of this, putting bird sound together with human word. This is how language and understanding develop in a little sister.

 

 

26

Hibiscus -

a naked little child’s

hair ornament

 

花木槿 /裸童の / かざし                                                                                   Hana mukuge / hadaki kodomo no / kazashi kana

 

The hibiscus syriacus, also known as Rose of Sharon or rose mallow, is common in Japan as well as in South Korea where it is the national flower. They usually grow wild on an old wall or fence, blooming in early autumn, large trumpet shaped flowers, usually pink with prominent yellow-tipped white stamens, a fine ornament for the hair of a tiny peasant girl naked in August heat. The child stands there innocent and charming, the ideal human form: she carries the future of humanity. Shoko, with daughters this age, sees “an expression of the warmth in Basho’s heart.”

 

27

Spring rain -

sprouted to two leaves

eggplant seed

 

春雨 や / 二葉に萌ゆる / 茄子種
Haru-same ya / futaba ni moyuru / nasubi-dane

 

Smaller than this ‘o’ in print, so light its weight cannot be felt, the drab brown seed contains the genetic information to produce a stalk with large green purple-veined leaves, bright purple flowers, and dark purple eggplants full of a multitude of seeds. Early in spring these are returned to the Earth under a half-inch of soil. Spring rains falls gently and continuously to soak the tiny plant emerging from the seed. The two infant leaves reach out to the side like hands welcoming the rain. These seven words have a simplicity the smallest child can understand, as simple as DNA. Schools commonly provide an eggplant seed with a cupful of dirt for small children to observe the miracle of life. Why not also give the Basho haiku SPRING RAIN? Can there be a more perfect way to teach elementary reading along with science?

 

28

Spring rain is

tears at the tonsure

of a little boy


春雨は / 髪剃稚児の / 涙にて

Haru-same wa/kami soru chigo no/namida nite

 

Unlike the heavy drenching rain of early summer, the wind-whipped rain of autumn, or the freezing rain of winter -- Spring rain falls gently, continuously, soaking into the still barren earth. The tears may be of the child losing his hair, losing his childhood and family life -- or of the mother giving her child to the temple. Such tears, like spring rain, continue on and on.

 

29

Wake up! Wake up!

Wouldn’t you be my friend?

sleeping butterfly?

 

起きよ起きよ /我が友にせん/寝る胡蝶
Oki yo oki yo /waga tomo ni sen / neru kochou

 

The original of this verse had “drunken” instead of “sleeping” so Basho used the image of a butterfly to suggest the drunken sleep of a man -- since butterflies in reality do not drink alcohol. The revision foregoes imagination to embrace actual reality: a butterfly motionless on a rock. Changing that one word switches the consciousness from adult male intocxication to small child wishing for a playmate, she speaks to the butterfly before her eyes:

 

WAKE UP! WAKE UP! Oki yo! Oki yo!

 

30

Well children

the noon glories have bloomed

let’s peel the melons


いざ子供/ 昼顔咲きぬ / 瓜剥かん

Iza kodomo / hirugao sakaba / uri mukan

 

Well children, first we look at the flowers, then we peel and eat the melons, then we go down to play

at the river, enjoying the abundance of summer.

 

30

Adorable

drawn upon a melon

Empress-to-be


うつくしき /その姫瓜や /后ぎぬ

Utsukushiki / sono hime uri ya / kisaki ginu

 

First on the list in Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book of what she finds utsukushi, “lovely, adorable,” is “the face of a child drawn on a melon.” In this era it was a custom for little girls in summer to draw a face with black ink or face-powder on a melon and attach to a stick with two-color strings, to make a hanging toy. The melon used was a hime-uri, ‘princess-melon’, a type of musk melon. (It did not taste very good and, with plastic available for toys, is no longer grown. The shape of the melon -- small on top and wider in the cheeks -- is the classical ideal for the Japanese female face – the face you see in illustrations of the Tale of Genji.

The lower segment kisaki-zane is literally “empress kernel” -- the ‘seed’ who grows up to become Empress. Basho draws the connection between the name of the melon and the ‘little princess’ who will someday marry the Crown Prince.

 

He shows us a little girl’s plaything, a picture she drew of her idol, the little girl whose fairytale dream comes true. She feels about her face drawn on a melon the way little girls today feel about pictures of their idols in music, movies and royal families. s this an image of Basho’s little sister Oyoshi, long ago and far away? An image of the affection Oyoshi felt for the “little princess” she drew upon a melon. An image of Oyoshi to comfort the homesick 28 year old man in the metropolis of Edo (Tokyo)

 

31          

Well children
the noon glories have bloomed,
let's peel the melons

 

いざ子供 昼顔咲きぬ 瓜かん
iza kodomo / hirugao sakinu / uri mukan

 

First we look at the flowers, then we peal and eat the melons, then we go to play in the river, 

the abundance of child life in the summer.

 

32

Bamboo shoots

as a child, absorbed
in drawing them

 

竹の子や / 推き時の / 絵のすさび

Take no ko ya / osanaki toki no / e no susabi

 

 

Bamboo is biologically a grass, so the ‘trunks’ are actually blades rising from the underground maze of rhizomes growing horizontally and interlocking under the entire grove. In May curious-looking brown conical sheaths emerge from the earth, and these give rise to slender stalks which, in just one summer, will grow thirty feet with a circumference of two hands. The scene of this year’s baby bamboos, like brown pointed magician’s hats, peeking out here and there among their towering parents, is one any child would love to draw. Susabi is the absorption of a child in learning, the compulsion to practice a task over and over again. Maria Montessori in the Absorbent Mind says

“The information that the child unconsciously absorbs from his surroundings in the early years is used to construct and create himself… (then between age 3 and 6) his mind compels him to sort through, order, and make sense of the information he unconsciously absorbed”

 

so we see 5 year old Basho hunched over the paper, concentrating his entire being on drawing that conical shape on a flat piece of paper, creating himself from information he absorbed as he draws.

 

33

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

 

昼 寝て 遊ぶ / 盆 の 友 達

Hiru nete asobu / bon no tomodachi

 

 

Young children who live in different cities are brought together in one village, so are able to play with children they usually do not see. Bon is the festival for honoring ancestors, but Basho observes their descendants here and now developing themselves through play so they can become the ancestors honored at future O-Bons.

 

33

Before he leaves
she takes out the chill
from his jacket

When young they both
are innocent in love

 

わかれんと /つめたき 小袖 / あたためて
おさなき どちの / 恋 の あどなさ

 

Wakaren to / tsumetaki kosode / atatamete
Osanaki dochi no / koi no adonasa

 

Sensen writes about a woman putting on her lover’s jacket before he leaves on a cold morning, giving the fabric some of her body warmth for him to feel when he is out in the freezing dawn. To be so kind and considerate, she must be young and innocent, unspoiled by the sinful world, still able to care with her whole being. Miyawaki observes that such selfless caring for others is, in Japan, typical of 14-15 year olds girls. Sensen speaks only of the female action, saying nothing of the male response to this female kindness. Basho replies that small children, both male and female, love with the totality of their hearts, without greed, anxiety, or discontent, giving themselves wholly and completely to love.


35

Quietly peeking
into sake revelry –

In the bedroom
no one is sleeping
evening moon

 

そつとのぞけば / 酒の最中
寝處に /誰も寝て居ぬ / 宵の月

 

Sotto nozokeba / sake no saichuu
Ne-dokoro ni /dare mo nete inu /yoi no tsuki

 

A small child was put to bed, but gets up, sneaks to the party room in pajamas, and opens the door a crack to peer in on the adults carousing. Basho follows with the obvious: the bedroom where the child is not, but instead moonlight quietly peeks in on empty bed.

 

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

 

 

露まず払う / 狩の弓竹
秋 風 は / 物いはぬ 子も / 涙 にて
白きたもとの / 続く葬礼

 

Tsuyu mazu harau / kari no yumi take
Aki kaze wa / mono iwanu ko mo /namida nite
Shiroki tamoto no / tsuzuku sourei

 

Basho’s stanza by itself is brilliant because it can apply to any child, anywhere in the world, in any era, and so it unites all children into a single icon. I enjoy considering the stanza all by itself, linking it with visions of children I know, or read about, or see in videos – but I also like to consider it along with the previous and following stanzas which portray very specific situations in which this child crying says nothing.

 

A man has cut a fine stalk of bamboo to make a hunting bow, and wipes off the morning dew. The child weeps because father is going to kill an innocent animal -- but can speak no word of this to this imposing patriarch who would not respond kindly to such criticism from a small child. As I interpret this link, it is a message that we should protect animals in the wild, be saddened by their being killed, and oppose their killing.

 

In Japan and other Asian cultures, white is associated with death, and the deceased is wrapped in a white shroud and placed in a coffin in a sitting position. The coffin was carried on a litter to the burial place, accompanied by a procession of mourning relatives and priests intoning sutras. The coffin containing the white-shrouded corpse moves through the long rows of mourners. The child in silent tears watches the coffin and corpse continue away from him, as the father’s spirit also departs from the child’s heart.

 

So we can explore Basho’s stanza 1) by itself, saying nothing about the child or the sadness, leaving it up to us to imagine; 2) with the previous stanza, feeling the relation between animal-loving small child and hunting father, and 3) with the following stanza, the child watching his deceased father’s coffin move away.

 

37

Majestic Chinese
gables on tile roof
of a herbalist

A child well-treated
should not be skinny

 

いかめしく / 瓦 庇 の / 木薬屋
馳走する 子の / 痩せて かい なき

 

Ikameshiku / kawara hisashi no / ki-kusuri-ya
Chisō suru ko no / yasete kai naki

 

This prosperous dealer in medicinal herbs has a roof of heavy ceramic tiles (most houses at this time had roofs of thatch). The impressive Chinese gables at the ends make the place look like a temple. Growing up in a rich house, where knowledge of herbal remedies and how to use them is second-nature, why is this child so sickly? Basho creates the question but gives no hint of an answer.

 

Annual events in Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara  have a traditional Noh play presented outdoors at night beside a bonfire.

 

38

Bonfire past,
neighborhood children
practice Noh

For five spring times
preparation for a life

 

薪過 /町の子供の / 稽古能
いつつも春に /したき世の中

 

Takigi sugi / machi no kodomo no / keiko noh
Itsutsu mo haru ni / shitaki yo no naka

 

Noh theater is characterized by mystical beauty – beauty which is felt rather than seen, the profound beauty of the transcendental world, and the mournful beauty of sadness and loss. The music played by drums and flute is harsh and monotonous, like all traditional Japanese music, devoid of chords and lacking the chord progressions which make music “interesting.” The singing is within a limited tonal range, with lengthy repetitive passages in a narrow dynamic range. Noh has none of the light, happy melodies that make Disney movies popular with children. Ordinarily Noh is not the sort of performance that would interest children – but Noh illuminated by a bonfire is such a trip that in the days after the performance, the local children enthusiastically imitate the actors and their monotonic singing.

 

The next poet realizes that what these children are doing – imitation, postural and vocal control, emotional expression -- is more than merely an silly and immature form of an Noh performance; rather it is a demonstration of the miracles of human development preparing a child for adulthood.

 

39

Musk melon so big
we both can enjoy 

Having fun with

scraps of hemp fabric

mother has cut 

二人していざ / 大き なる 瓜

裁ち 物 の/ 麻 に きれ 端 / よろこびて

 

Futari shite iza / ouki naru uri
Tachi mono no / asa ni kire hata / yorokobite

 

Kikaku’s stanza feels like the thoughts of a child – for an adult would be accustomed to the size of a melon. A child finds the mundane remarkable. After eating the sweet luscious fruit, the kids play with scraps mother cut away from the fabric she needed to make an article of clothing, scraps of no interest to adults, but fascinating to the pure, naturally high mind of a child. Children play the way they eat melons: with enjoyment.

 

40

Incessantly
falling mixture of
sleet and hail --

Wiping the palms of hands
things made with paste

 

降まじる丸雪みぞれのいちしきり
手のひらういて糊ざいくする
Furi majiru arare mizore no ichishikiri
te no hirau ite / nori zaiku suru

 

One chore in a traditional Japanese house is done with paste: attaching paper to the wooden frames of shoji window panels, so scholars see this verse as adult experience – however it is easier to imagine it  at a kindergarten in winter: The children went outside in “rotten weather” to have fun (because they are children); they marvel at the combination of hail and sleet falling all around them. Then they come inside to make crafts with paste, comparing the feeling of sticky white paste in their fingers to the feeling of sticky frosty white hail and sleet in the same fingers.

 

Basho told his follower Doho words that children may appreciate:

 

Make poetry ride the Energy

 

The “Energy” here is ki, or qi, the “universal energy” of martial or healing arts, or as George Lucas called it “the Force.” Children who play a musical instrument, or surf the waves , or fly a kite, or practice a martial art, may best understand Basho’s meaning. To see how Basho himself rode the Energy in poetry, consider these two stanzas from the first of 300 sequences in which Basho participated. The year is 1666 and Basho is about 22. The first poet offers an elegant image of Japanese classical dance, and Basho takes that feeling into the world of children.

 

41

Quietly descending
hand of the dancer

More than appears
a small child is obedient
to the Energy

 

いとも 静 な / 舞 の 手 くだり
見かけより/ 気 は おとなしき / 小 児 にて
Ito mo shizuka na / mai no te kudari
Mikake yori / ki wa otonashiki / ko chigo nite

 

The movement of the dancer’s hand expresses more, much more, than simply getting from up to down; it expresses the dancer’s obedience to ki. The hand rides the Energy downward, as a surfer stays on the board even as the board drops and rises. Likewise the small child may not follow adult commands, but is obedient to that universal Energy.

 

 

basho4now@gmail.com

 






<< Being a Baby – Commentaries for #s 1 - 20 (C-08) (C-10) Age 7 to 12 >>


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