Very Early on the twenty-seventh morning of the third moon, under a predawn haze, transparent moon barely visible, Mount Fuji just a shadow, I set out under the cherry blossoms of Ueno and Yanaka. When would I see them again?…
Thank you to Frank Tassone for offering a November with Matsuo Basho feature, using for inspiration Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Interior as translated by Sam Hamill. Day 1’s excerpt is this:
The Moon and Sun are eternal travelers. Even the years wander on. A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home…
Even this grass hut
may be transformed
into a doll’s house
Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior” The Essential Basho (Trsl. Sam Hamill) pg. 3,4
This 8th episode of Carpe Diem’s Renga with Basho features six of Basho’s haiku, as translated by Jane Reichhold, including one that was unfinished—I have completed the first haiku by adding a third line. Basho’s writings are shown in boldface type and my additions are in regular type (hopefully the Reader does not alter this).
It’s time for another Renga with Basho. For this challenge the haiku offered by Chevrefeuille, our Carpe Diem host, are translations by Robert Hass. The bold three-line stanzas are by Basho, renowned Japanese poet (1644-1694), and the italicized two-line stanzas are mine.
by the old temple
a man treading rice
golden manna from the storehouse
each grain a nourishing pearl
all the day long
yet not long enough for the skylark
old farmers toil and hum
whispering paddies rustle
a crane’s thighs splashed
in cool waves
an evening in the rice fields
quiet moments bathed in peace
can’t quite land
on that blade of grass
we shall spread a blanket
under the shady willow
I’m a wanderer
so let that be my name
the first winter rain
when peach leaves are falling
my staff will be by my side
Thank you to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai for this challenge. As mentioned above, the bolded stanzas are by Matsuo Basho, as translated by Robert Hass, and the two-line italicized stanzas were written by me.
In this special edition of Carpe Diem’s Renga with Basho series Chèvrefeuille asks us to commence with a greeting verse (‘hokku’) actually used by Basho to commence a Renga Party. The other verses by Basho were written as stand alone haiku. As usual I have bolded Basho’s haiku (translated by Jane Reichhold) and italicized my two-line responses.
The Basho haiku for this Carpe Diem Renga challenge are translated by Robert Hass. The two-line responses in italics are mine. A true exchange of stanzas would be done in real time. This challenge is an opportunity to appreciate the haiku of a master and to practice writing two-line 7 syllable responses (I use the syllable count as a guide but don’t force my responses to comply).