Saturday, September 12, 2015

On The Trail With Basho Encore #13 a hangover

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time again for a new episode of "On The Trail With Basho Encore" and this episode I will tell you a little bit more about Basho's haiku on Cherry Blossom viewing.
As you all know one of my favorite themes for haiku is  cherry blossoms and I have written a lot of haiku about them. I really am in love with cherry blossoms, because of their color, fragility and beauty and of course because my master, Matsuo Basho, has written a lot of haiku about cherry blossoms.
The Japanese are all known for their love of cherry blossoms and as the cherries are blooming they go out with friends and families to watch the beauty of the cherry blossoms. There are several cherry blossom viewing festivals around that time as the cherries are blooming. This week I have gathered a few haiku by Basho about cherry blossoms for your inspiration. For example this one, which he wrote in the spring of 1694, the year he died:

When I went to Ueno for cherry blossom viewing, I saw curtains stretched where people were noisily playing music and singing various songs in various voices, so I moved to a quiet place nearby under a pine tree.

cherry blossom viewing
without a set of nested bowls
in my heart

© Basho

The mention of nested bowls refers to the things a monk on a pilgrimage would have. Basho is saying that even without the nested bowls, his preference to sit quietly under a pine tree instead of singing and dancing under the cherry blossoms, means that he was more like a monk at heart.

Or this one packed with humor, which he wrote in spring 1681:

a hangover
is nothing as long as
there are cherry blossoms

© Basho

In the following haiku Basho uses the comparative technique. The rice balls dusted with roasted flour resemble the delicate tints of the cherry blossoms.

rice balls covered with roasted soy flour
cherry blossom gathering

© Basho

Awesome three very different, but all beautiful, haiku on cherry blossoms. Isn't it a joy to read them and be part of the scenes and experience Basho describes? Could I be there just one time ... that would be awesome.

cherry blossom viewing
together with friends and family
celebrating spring

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode of "Encore" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Friday September 18th at noon (CET). Have fun! Be inspired by the cherry blossoms of Basho ...

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, and wonderful haiku you selected from the masters. I am happy with my haiku sometimes, due to the inspiration you provide.