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  >  Bilingual Basho 日本語も  >  H-03


The Eternal Mother (Renku)



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

By moonlight / my poor mother at work / beside the window /

She would hide fingers /stained with indigo

もる月を / 賤しき母の / 窓に見て/ 

藍にしみ付く/指かくすらん           

 

By moonlight /

my poor mother at work/
beside the window /

She would hide fingers /
stained with indigo

   

        

 Complete Basho Renku Interpretive Anthology     volume 5, p. 14          

Moru tsuki o /iyashiki haha no /mado ni mite
Ai ni shimi tsuku / yubi kakusuran

 

17       もる月を賤しき母の窓に見て                                   又玄

             窓に漏る月を見るらん故郷の母。                 

                  野良仕事にはげむ賤しき母ねれど。

 

18         藍にしみ付く指かくすらん                                     芭蕉

前句の賤しき母の労苦を、染物 の仕事と転じて、

愛のしみついた指をかくして, 月を眺めるとした。

 

By moonlight 

my poor mother at work
beside the window

She would hide fingers 
stained with indigo

   

 

Iugen presents an image of mother, long ago and far away, doing the night work of women throughout the ages, after her family has gone to sleep, sewing or mending their clothing in that light from above through the open window. From this iconic maternal image, Basho zooms in on her fingers stained fromyears of dying cloth with indigo; she feels the need to cover them with fabric to hide that strange inhuman color in the moonlight. The blue tint draws the eyes in our minds to her fingers, where we see the ‘traces’ of all the work those fingers have done – which, because in Japanese “indigo” has the same pronunciation as “love,”

are “fingers stained with love.”

 

Renku scholar Miyawaki Masahiko says,

In the behavior of mother hiding her fingers, the child separated far from her realizes her personality. The moonlight conveys the feelings in the child’s heart along with memories of mother working in desperation to raise us in spite of poverty.

 

The link – the thoughts that take us – from Iugen’s stanza to Basho’s astonishingly trivial but intimate human detail reveals the vast range of his genius. Only Basho could create a link such as this, so personal and bodily yet so full of female heart.

 

Both the Mona Lisa and Whistler’s Mother rest their hands motionless on the lap; Mary in Michelangelo’s Pieta holds the dead Jesus motionless on her lap. Basho surpasses these icons by giving the hands of the Eternal Mother activity and self-consciousness.

 

              芭蕉連句全注解、5巻 p。14

 

もる月を
賤しき母の
窓に見て     

 藍にしみ付く
指かくすらん   

 

又玄が描いた場面では、遠い昔の母親が、長年に渡って夜の針仕事をしている。家族が寝入った後、窓から漏れる

月の明かりに、縫い物をしたり服を直したりする. この代表的な母性像から、芭蕉が長年の染物仕事で青がしみこんだ「母」の指にズームインします。月明かりのしたで、その青い指先に恥しくて思えて、指を服に隠そうとする。

青い色合いから、読者の関心を「母」の指に転じた。そこから、その指で携わった仕事の痕を残している。

愛に浸された指である.


連句の学者である宮脇真彦によると:

 

その指を隠す仕草、母親の人柄が窺われ、親もとを遠く離れた子が貧しいながらも必至に働いて自分

を育ててくれて母を月の下で懐かしく思い出している人情が伝わってくる。


前句からこの小さい人間的なディテールまでの連想が、芭蕉の天才の 広がりを示している。

このようなつなぎ、個々にそして体現されてしかも母性の温情が溢れるつなぎは、芭蕉にしかできないことなです。


絵画 「モナリサ」 も 「ウィスラーの母」も、手を膝に置いて動かない。

ミケランジェロの「ピエタ」はイエスの死体を膝に抱えている。

芭蕉は此の母性像を過ぎて、永遠の母の指に動きと意識を与えます。

 

 

I request your assistance in getting out the word on the warm affectionate Basho who wrote

hundreds of poems about women and children, about friendship, love, and compassion;

hundreds of Basho works unavailable to the world, yet the most pro-female, child-centered,

and life-affirming works ever written?

 

女性と子供達、友人や愛や同情をかんじて、何百もの句を残し心暖かい芭蕉を広く公開しましょう。

最高の女性の味方、子供目線、そして人生の応援歌では?

 

                                    basho4humanity@gmail.com

 






<< Night in Spring (Haiku) (H-02) (H-04) Young and Helpless - A Basho Renku >>


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