Guest poem submitted by Rachel Granfield:
Trans. Lucien Stryk. I have to say, it was difficult to pick one haiku over the rest in my book of Basho. I decided on this one because it exemplifies one of my favorite characteristics of Basho, his ability to create a vivid, lingering image with incredible economy of words. I'm not hard-core enough to have this poem in the original Japanese, but anyone who does, please do write in. My minimal biographical information on this poet: he was born near Kyoto in 1644 and studied the art of haiku in his youth. At the age of 23 he moved to Edo (now Tokyo) and continued to write. Later in life he became a recluse, although he would sometimes travel to temples and the homes of other poets. Along with his poetry, he is also noted for his travel diaries. Basho was strongly influenced by the philosophies of Zen Buddhism. He died in 1694. Rachel.