Saturday, April 2, 2016

Haiku A to Z: B is for Basho

photo by Kenda 2013
"Haiku are based on the five senses. They are about things you can experience, not your interpretation or analysis of those things. To do this effectively, it is good to rely on sensory description, and to use mostly objective rather than subjective words." --Write-a-Haiku-Poem

A name often associated with haiku is Matsuo Basho, 17th century Japanese haiku master. "Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Basho 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). Basho's poetry is internationally renowned; and, in Japan, many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites...Basho was introduced to poetry young, 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." --wikipedia

One of Basho's most famous haiku, translated by Harry Behn:
An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond.
Splash! Silence again. 

Still a student with much yet to learn, I offer Day Two Haiku:
bejeweled butterflies
glitter and shimmer in flight
across field's new gown
                                                                                        --Kenda Turner


  1. I didn't know about Basho. You're pretty good for a beginner!

    Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

  2. Thanks, Sharon :-) We writers will always be learners first, won't we?

  3. I've heard of Basho but had never learned much about him. This was a nice introduction. I like your butterfly haiku.

  4. Elizabeth, I like looking into the history of poetry as well as trying my hand at it, there's a lot of interesting stuff here :-) Thanks for stopping by again, it's always nice to hear from you.