Sunday, March 10, 2013

Matsuo Basho - Poetry

This poem is a haiku from 17th century Japan.  The poet is Matsuo Basho.  The book says that it is 'often offered as the quintessential example of haiku'.

Old pond-
A frog leaps in-
Water's sound.

Haiku often leaves me cold and this one is no exception.  Too often, the modern haiku that I'm presented with are no more than a thought that has the proper number of syllables.  Basically, if you look hard enough, you can find a haiku in your grocery list.  Well, your mileage may vary, but my grocery list is seldom poetic.
There are exceptions, of course.  I ran across this one some years ago:

Plum blossoms bloom,
And pleasure women buy new scarves
In a brothel room

The first two lines paint a picture of a picturesque location with happy women.  The third line brings forth the reality that they are not happy and they don't control their own fates.  The first haiku there, offers no poetic twist.  It's a straightforward word picture.
Not my cup of tea.

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