Haiku and Matsuo Basho

One of Japan’s most famous poets was Matsuo Basho. He lived in the Edo era (1603~1868). He is credited with writing some of the most famous haiku and elevating this literary form to an art.

An ancient pond

A frog jumps in

The splash of water

Basho’s haiku were originally hokku (the initial verse) of renku (linked verses), which was part of a game. Think Eminem in Eight Mile. One player (or poet) created a verse in response to a previous verse by another player (or poet). I am not sure if these were contests or just “party games”, but I find it interesting that the high art of haiku came out of what some say was a “vulgar and coarse exchange of wit”.

I couldn’t help but to write my own haiku (about these long days of Summer)…..

A cloud lingers on

Tired before night arrives

Drift off on the couch

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