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On Love and Barley : Haiku of Basho - Matsuo Basho

On Love and Barley

Haiku of Basho

Paperback Published: 29th August 1985
ISBN: 9780140444599
Number Of Pages: 96
For Ages: 18+ years old

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‘Orchid – breathing
incense into
butterfly’s wings’

Basho, one of the greatest of Japanese poets and the master of haiku, was also a Buddhist monk and a life-long traveller. His poems combine ‘karumi’, or lightness of touch, with the Zen ideal of oneness with creation. Each poem evokes the natural world – the cherry blossom, the leaping frog, the summer moon or the winter snow – suggesting the smallness of human life in comparison to the vastness and drama of nature. Basho himself enjoyed solitude and a life free from possessions, and his haiku are the work of an observant eye and a meditative mind, uncluttered by materialism and alive to the beauty of the world around him.

These meticulous translations by Lucien Stryk capture the refined artistry of the originals. This edition contains notes and an introduction that discusses how the life and beliefs of Basho influenced his work.

About The Author

Basho, the Japanese poet and diarist, was born in Iga-ueno near Kyoto in 1644. He spent his youth as companion to the son of the local lord, and with him he studied the writing of seventeen-syllable verse. In 1667 he moved to Edo (now Tokyo) where he continued to write verse. He eventually became a recluse, living on the outskirts of Edo in a hut. When he traveled he relied entirely on the hospitality of temples and fellow-poets. In his writings he was strongly influenced by the Zen sect of Buddhism.

Bashi, the 17th-century Japanese poet and diarist, was a great master of haiku. This verse form, of 17 syllables divided into three lines of five, seven and five syllables, is a spare, intense poetic utterance, often invoking nature. Lucien Stryk's elegant translations do not reproduce the numbered syllables in English, but dive to the heart of the meaning. (Kirkus UK)

The Haiku

ISBN: 9780140444599
ISBN-10: 0140444599
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 96
Published: 29th August 1985
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.1  x 0.6
Weight (kg): 0.08
Edition Number: 1