There’s more to haiku than Basho– though I’ll never know much more, and I won’t even know Basho that well. I must come to terms with that.
There’s just too much I want to study and experience and too little precious life. It is a sad realization, and a major reason behind the tone and title of this blog; I realize this will likely be my last course of intensive study. I have always striven for a life of a balance, and in my heart I feel the scale has been tipping toward the seditary for too long, which means it’s time for me gravitate toward the active. I don’t want Life to be what happened while I was at my desk preparing for it.
So back to haiku. I’ve finished my Self-Doctorate’s overview of it. I posted before about Basho; today I want to share a little from his fellow Japanese poets, Buson and Issa. Buson lived in the 1700s. He was also a very good painter. Issa lived from 1763- 1827; he was born twenty years before Buson died, but I don’t think they ever met. I liked Issa’s humanity. He’s not nearly as detached as the other poets, which some lovers of haiku may not actually like: there is compassion and humor in his verses. And I can feel that this was a man that suffered in his life, and so sympathized with the suffering others– even the tiniest animals.
Here is my favorite haiku from Buson. Since he is a painter, it is not surprising he writes about capturing the beauty of Nature (in this case, by murder!):
before the white chrysanthemum / the scissors hesitate / a moment
And some haiku from Issa:
Don’t worry spiders, / I keep house / casually
In this world / we walk on the roof of hell, / gazing at flowers
Don’t know about the people, / but the scarecrows / are crooked
All the time I pray to Buddha / I keep on / killing mosquitoes
I’m going to roll over, / so please move, / cricket
The moon tonight– / I even miss / her grumbling
and, on his fiftieth birthday:
From now on, / its all clear profit, / every sky