Basho's thoughts on...

• Woman Central
• 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 Tsukeku 芭蕉付句
• 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-13


Breastfeeding on my lap

乳をのむ膝に Chi o nomu hiza ni

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

 Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?

 

 

In a renku sequence of 1692, Basho wrote these three stanzas in succession:

 

In the old Capital
remains the spirit’s house
No longer black
with hardwood plectrum
scalp to scratch
Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?

 

Complete Basho Renku Interpretations: volume 8: page 26

芭蕉連句全註解 8巻:26

 

Furuki miyako ni / nokoru o-tamaya                                  Bashō

10 ふるき 都 に / 残る お魂屋                            芭蕉

古き都に今に残るお魂屋―貴人の霊をまつる堂。

 

      Kurokaranu / kashira kakitaru / tsuge no bachi          Bashō

11 くろからぬ / 首かきたる / 柘の撥                芭蕉

 

白髪交じりの頭、堅木の撥で掻くは霊堂の前で 貴人ゆかりの琵琶などを弾いて奉る。


Chi o nomu hiza ni / nani o yume miru                        Bashō

12 乳をのむ膝に / 何を夢みる                        芭蕉

 

無心に膝に抱かれて乳を呑む子は、何を夢見ているのだろうか。

 

Let us call Basho’s three stanzas A, B, and C, and observe how he plays with images, connecting B to A, then transforming that link into the connection of C to B. In stanza A, a boy in the original Capital of the Japanese nation, 8 th century Nara, grew up to realize his dreams to accomplishments, so people built a “spirit’s house,” a large ornate mausoleum, over his grave.

 

Stanza B adds a person before the mausoleum playing a stringed instrument to honor the deceased. According to patriarchal tradition, this would be a blind monk playing a lute to accompany his reading of Buddhist texts about death. Basho, however, is not confined by old traditions, and this stanza, with its concern for hair, can portray the man’s widow who had black hair when he was alive, but the passage of time has changed that. Unable to speak to her husband’s spirit, she plays music to him. When she feels a mysterious itch under her hair, she recognizes this to be a reply from the dead. With the plectrum already in her hand, she uses it to scratch her scalp.

 

The link of A to B focuses on ‘his-story,’ the story of patriarchy, government, politics, and oldness. Basho re-directs B to form with C a link of ‘her-story,’ the stories of femininity, life-giving, and nourishing the young which men usually ignore. To appreciate these female-centric links, we note that a baby has about the same size and shape of a lute  and like a lute is held on a woman’s lap, and also introduce the Japanese belief that babies live in the spiritual world until age seven. As the tiny mouth sucks her nipple and milk flows into baby, she gazes into his or her eyes and forehead searching to see the dreams within. She wonders whether this infant, nourished by her milk, will realize those dreams. Thus, in the link from B to C, Basho transforms a woman’s spiritual communication with the dead into her spiritual communication with the newborn life she created. This is the female consciousness of Basho we must preserve.

 

芭蕉の 3 つの句を A、B、C と呼び、B と A を結びから C と B を結ぶ移りを観 察してみよう。A では昔の日本の首都、8 世紀の奈良、の少年が成長し、夢を 実現するために、人々は彼の墓に大きな装飾のある霊堂を建てました。

B の句 では、霊堂の前で弦楽器を演奏する人が登場し、故人を偲ぶ。家父長的な伝 統によれば、これは盲目の僧侶が、死に関する仏典を読むのに合わせて琵琶 を演奏しているのであろう。しかし、芭蕉は古い伝統にとらわれず、この句 は、髪を気にすることで、生前は黒髪だったが、時の流れで変わってしまっ た未亡人を描くことができる。夫の霊と話せない彼女は、夫のために音楽を 奏でる。髪の下に不思議なかゆみを感じたとき、彼女はそれが死者からの返 事であることを認識する。すでに手に持って撥で頭皮を掻く。

 

この三句では、A から B へのリンクは、家父長制、政府、政治、老齢といっ た「his-story 彼の歴史」に焦点が当てられている。芭蕉は B を、男性が無視 しがちな女性らしさ、生命を育むこと、若者を養うことなどの「her-story, 彼 女の歴史」のリンクを形成するように仕向けるのである。このような女性中 心のリンクを評価するために、赤ん坊と琵琶がほぼ同じ大きさと形をしてい ること、琵琶と同様に女性の膝に抱かれていることに注目します。それから、 赤ん坊は七歳まで精神世界で生きているという日本の信仰を紹介する。小さ な口で乳首を吸い、母乳が赤ちゃんに流れ込むと、その目や額を見つめなが ら、内なる夢を探ります。この子は自分の乳で育まれ、その夢を実現するの だろうかと。このように、芭蕉は B から C へのリンクの中で、A 句の死者と の心の交流を、自分が生み出した新しい生命との心の交流に変換しているの である。これが芭蕉の女性意識であり、私たちが守るべきものである。

 

Basho wrote hundreds of poems about women and children, about friendship, love, and compassion, possibly the most pro-female, child-centered, and life-affirming works in world literature.

 

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ないでしょうか

 

For a menu of 300 Basho articles, see www.basho4humanity.com/topic-description.php?ID=1525955995

 

For the entire series of Bilingual Essays, see https://www.basho4humanity.com/topic-category.php?Cat=15

 

For “Letters from Basho” including translation of 60 letters, see https://www.basho4humanity.com/topic-category.php?

 

Cat=14 For Basho’s ultimate masterpiece, the tanka SPRING PASSES BY, see https://www.basho4humanity.com/topic-description.php?ID=1525958016

 

Feedback will be greatly appreciated: basho4humanity@gmail.com 





<< Lingering on... (Tanka) (H-12) (H-14) Day and Night Dreams (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...

• Woman Central
• 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 Tsukeku 芭蕉付句
• 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