Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
We are still on the trail with Basho and at the moment we are on the trail with him to the deep north his most famous journey. In "The Narrow Road into the Deep North" (Oku no Hosomichi) he visited famous places on the Northern part of the Southern Isle Honshu. Today we have a wonderful haiku which Basho wrote at the place were his Zen-master Butcho has lived for a while. In this haiku he reverses to a "waka" by his Zen master:
five foot square
unless there is rain
© Butcho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
With this haiku came a preface:
"I understand that the Priest Butcho composed this poem about his home here. Seeing this place is so much more impressive than hearing about it, and I feel my heart is purified".
Basho's poem/haiku could be saying that, for him, a grove of trees is enough of a hut. Because trees constantly renew themselves, a woodpecker could not inflict the same damage it could on a building. Basho reveres the priest so much he equates his hut with a temple. It is said that Basho pinned this verse on the post the hut.
do not damage this hut
a summer grove
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
There is another similar haiku which is known by Basho. Basho wrote, a while after his "Narrow Road" as he was staying somewhere at Lake Biwa, a haibun which is known as "Genjuan no Fui" or "The Unreal Hut". I love to share that haibun here with you including the haiku.
among these summer trees,
a pasania *--
something to count on.
© Basho (Tr. Burton Watson)
A wonderful story I think. It fits this episode so well. In my opinion these two haiku you cannot see without each other, but that's just my opinion.
high in the sky
in my tree house -
the spring breeze
Not a strong haiku I think, but I love to give another idea to the "hut" as mentioned in the haiku by Basho. And the first thing which came in mind was a tree house, so I just had to use that.
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 22nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, one patch of a rice field, later on.