Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Carpe Diem #1665 Tan Renga Challenge Month May 2019 (12) "special" Basho "Miscanthus bud"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a "special" episode of our Tan Renga Challenge Month May 2019. Today I have a few nice haiku by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) for you to work with. You may choose a haiku to work with of you can use them all. Why is this episode "special"? Well I realised today that this year Basho's birth and death are celebrated. He was born 325 years ago and died 375 years ago, so in my opinion this is "special".

I will give you a short overview of his life hereafter:

Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694), born, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa, was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku (then called hokku). Matsuo Bashō's poetry is internationally renowned; and, in Japan, many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites. Although Bashō is justifiably famous in the West for his hokku, he himself believed his best work lay in leading and participating in renku. He is quoted as saying, "Many of my followers can write hokku as well as I can. Where I show who I really am is in linking haikai verses."

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Bashō was introduced to poetry at a young age, and after integrating himself into the intellectual scene of Edo (modern Tokyo) he quickly became well known throughout Japan. He made a living as a teacher; but then renounced the social, urban life of the literary circles and was inclined to wander throughout the country, heading west, east, and far into the northern wilderness to gain inspiration for his writing. His poems were influenced by his firsthand experience of the world around him, often encapsulating the feeling of a scene in a few simple elements. (Source: wikipedia)

Here are the haiku to work with:

the Dutchmen, too,
kneel before His Lordship --
spring under His reign.

by my new banana plant
the first sign of something I loathe --
a miscanthus bud!


another year is gone
a traveler's shade on my head,
straw sandals at my feet

now then, let's go out
to enjoy the snow ... until
I slip and fall!

© Basho

Four very nicely crafted haiku by my master, Matsuo Basho. You may choose from these four to create Tan Renga with or you can use them all. That's up to you.

This "special" episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 22nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

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