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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 10th November — a Thursday feature

Hosts: Firdaus Parvez and Kala Ramesh


This month we're excited to bring to you excerpts from probably the most famous and iconic book by Basho. It is the beginning of 'haibun' as we know it today. You can find it here



THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH AND OTHER TRAVEL SKETCHES

BY BASHO


Translated from the Japanese with an introduction by NOBUYUKI YUASA

PENGUIN BOOKS


These translations first published 1966

Reprinted 1968, 1970



THE RECORDS OF A TRAVEL-WORN SATCHEL


In this mortal frame of mine which is made of a hundred bones and nine orifices there is something, and this something is called a wind-swept spirit for lack of a better name, for it is much like a thin drapery that is torn and swept away at the slightest stir of the wind. This something in me took to writing poetry years ago, merely to amuse itself at first, but finally making it its lifelong business. It must be admitted, however, that there were times when it sank into such dejection that it was almost ready to drop its pursuit, or again times when it was so puffed up with pride that it exulted in vain victories over the others. Indeed, ever since it began to write poetry, it has never found peace with itself, always wavering between doubts of one kind and another. At one time it wanted to gain security by entering the service of a court, and at another it wished to measure the I depth of its ignorance by trying to be a scholar, but it was prevented from either because of its unquenchable love of poetry. The fact is, it knows no other art than the art of writing poetry, and therefore, it hangs on to it more or less blindly.


Saigyo in traditional poetry, Sogi in linked verse, Sesshu in painting, Rikyu in tea ceremony, and indeed all who have achieved real excellence in any art, possess one thing in common, that is, a mind to obey nature, to be one with nature, throughout the four seasons of the year.


Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon. It is only a barbarous mind that sees other than the flower, merely an animal mind that dreams of other than the moon. The first lesson for the artist is, therefore, to learn how to overcome such barbarism and animality, to follow nature, to be one with nature. It was early in October when the sky was terribly uncertain that I decided to set out on a journey. I could not help feeling vague misgivings about the future of my journey, as I watched the fallen leaves of autumn being carried away by the wind.


From this day forth

I shall be called a wanderer,

Leaving on a journey

Thus among the early showers.

You will again sleep night after night

Nestled among the flowers of sasanqua.


…….


I threw away quite a number of things, for I believed in travelling light. There were certain things, however, I had to carry on my back -such as a raincoat, an overcoat, an inkstone, a brush, writing paper, medicine, a lunch basket -and these constituted quite a load for me. I made such slow progress that I felt deeply depressed as I walked along with faltering steps, giving as much power as I could to my trembling knees.


Tired of walking

I put up at an inn,

Embraced comfortably

By wisteria flowers.


…….


It was in the middle of April when I wandered out to the beach of Suma. The sky was slightly overcast, and the moon on a short night of early summer had special beauty. The mountains were dark with foliage. When I thought it was about time to hear the first voice of the cuckoo, the light of the sun touched the eastern horizon, and as it increased, I began to see on the hills of Ueno ripe ears of wheat tinged with reddish brown and fishermen’s huts scattered here and there among the flowers of white poppy.


At sunrise I saw

Tanned faces of fishermen

Among the flowers

Of white poppy.



Challenge for this week: Can you be "a wanderer" / "a wind-swept spirit" and write about what your heart had always been wanting to write? ******


As always, a good haibun will find its way into the next issue of our fabulous journal. Firdaus and I are eagerly looking forward to reading your haibun.


PLEASE NOTE:

1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt.

2. Share your best-polished pieces.

3. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written. Let it simmer for a while.

4. When poets give suggestions and if you agree to them - post your final edited version on top of your original version.

5. Don't forget to give feedback on others' poems.


We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in the haikuKATHA monthly journal.

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86件のコメント


Xenia Tran
Xenia Tran
2022年11月15日

Northern Breeze


Most of the forecast rain blows over and we take a chance to head for the coast. Our dog sniffs the marram grass, already turning gold in places. We navigate our way through the dunes, following a trail of boot and paw prints. Side by side we pause where the light bursts through the clouds, showing us a glimpse of blue.


fresh northerlies –

a pied wagtail chirrups

near the stones


(feedback welcome)


いいね!
Xenia Tran
Xenia Tran
2022年11月16日
返信先

Thank you so much for your kind words dear Vidya, so lovely to hear you take a chance too when the forecast rain blows over 😊

いいね!

Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar
2022年11月15日

Edited version


Thank you, Reid and Xenia. I think I need to be direct, not giving hints. So, here's the edited version:


Charm


Seated snugly between two protruding roots, my back resting against the hard trunk of a banyan tree, a paperback for company, I transcend to a world of witchcraft and wizardry. My backpack of snacks lies abandoned, my coffee flask neglected, my phone switched off.


The sunflowers in the field across the muddy, rustic road have turned their heads from east to west. I read on still.


Platform 9 and 3/4...

preoccupied eyes

fail to see magic


________________________________________________________________________


Charm


Seated snugly between two protruding roots, my back resting against the hard trunk of a chestnut tree, a paperback…


いいね!
Xenia Tran
Xenia Tran
2022年11月16日
返信先

You're very welcome dear Vidya and your revision works really well 😊

いいね!

Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
2022年11月14日

Please post your revised version on top of your original one. We won't be able to pick up your haibun if this isn't done. And please be considerate of our editors and proofreaders. we can't keep checking your errors again when it comes to the selection process - when it has already been done here. Nobody has unlimited time hanging on their hands :)) And haikuKATHA is a monthly journal - we turn back and we are selecting for the next issue.


いいね!

Rupa Anand
Rupa Anand
2022年11月13日

#1

Revised 1- November 14th


Frosting


Ice melting over millennia, the infinite deep blue water cascades very slowly into a lake, with overhanging branches of dark green trees casting a halo. The edges of the glacier gleam a translucent blue-white as more light travels further through the ice, the bluer it becomes.

I marvel at the different shades spilling through time to meet the warm sky. Feeling the cold wind on my cheeks, I learn about the story of Romeo, the wolf who lived here and was subsequently killed by poachers.


over the fireplace

i place my photographs

—Mendenhall Glacier


(feedback yes)

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Original

Scrat and the Acorn


Ice melting gradually over millennia, the water cascades, inch by inch,…


いいね!
Martin Duguay
Martin Duguay
2022年11月16日
返信先

So descriptive, Rupa! I feel like I'm there with you.

いいね!

Martin Duguay
Martin Duguay
2022年11月13日

#1

11/13/22

Note: I just read Lakshmi Iyer's haibun "One More Time" in Issue 12. I've been so busy that I hadn't had a chance to read the issue yet. If you feel my haibun is too similar to hers, I will take my post down. My apologies for not noticing until now.


The Long Way Home


On its approach to Gimpo Airport, our plane is tossed from side to side by merciless typhoon winds. I look out the window and can barely see the landing strip as the fields on my left have flooded over. Upon touching the tarmac, the plane slides about as if on ice. We hold our breath until the plane slows down to a crawl.…


いいね!
Martin Duguay
Martin Duguay
2022年11月18日
返信先

Thank you for the feedback, Amoolya.

いいね!
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