Tuesday, March 25, 2008

more Basho

h34. "If I'd the knack / I'd sing like / cherry flakes falling." Appreciation of beauty - how does this relate to happiness?

h35. "Striding ten, twelve / miles in search of / cherry wreathes - how glorious." Happiness via search for beauty? Or happiness merely via exertion?

h45. "Draining the sake / cask - behold, / a gallon flower-vase." This also makes me happy. Out of the good, good? Endings are new beginnings?

h74. "Poor boy - leaves / moon-viewing / for rice-grinding." Abandoning the beautiful for the practical. But does the boy do this because he is poor, or does Basho just pity him because he is forced to go do chores?

h79. "Bright moon: / I stroll around the pond - / hey, dawn has come." One enjoyable moment is extended until it is superceded by another.

h91. "To lie drunk / on cobbles, / bedded in pinks." Drunken contentment with the state of being drunk.

Observation: Basho's haiku are generally moments observed or experienced: What is happening, how he is feeling, nothing more. He chronicles episodes of happiness (and sadness, and peacefulness, and excitement), rather than analyzing them. I myself tend to include descriptions of events and feelings only to give context to my analysis of them. Is it questionable to apply analysis to Basho's haiku, when that is what they purposely avoid?

h99. "Old legs, still eager / for Yoshino's / flowering slopes." Why does this make me think of happy moments?

h113. "Noon doze, / wall cool against / my feet." Tactile pleasure. Simple joys?

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