June 28, 2011

Haiga 603 Matsuo Basho haiku - wabi, sabi frog

Haiku by Matsuo Basho. Artwork by myself.

Now, here is the famous haiku by Basho. There are numerous translations for this. I just picked the one I see more often on the web. In this haiku, Basho conveyed the aesthetic of "wabi, sabi", which Wikipedia defines as "...represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent and incomplete".

There is an old Shinto shrine near where I work. Its founding dates back to more than 1000 years. Within the shrine ground is a nice old pond surrounded by Momiji trees. I love this pond, and whenever I am there, I always remember this Basho haiku.


Anonymous said...

One of my favorite pieces by Basho and I enjoyed your artwork with it - nice companions

roamsk said...

Can I also offer a "water" linked Hai-ku ? Maybe it is not as concisely elegant as Matsuo Basho's, it is more playful, I liked it and it reminded me of several very real things from my life. Maybe it will inspire you to create a picture or a drawing to go with it. It is by a poet who posted on the "Haiku Society" webside, with internet ID "blueberryozie", from Canada:

"Cool stream in still night
Snow crane dips its regal neck
Splash ! red herring twirls !"

I was inspired to create a my very first hai-ku about seasons here in Norway. I am sure it doesn't have the right form and it probably even doesn't meet the criteria for being defined as a "real" hai-ku, but I like thinking this thought:

Summer usually tends to
Wait patiently, fearlessly
For autumn to brusquely come.

(I hesitated very much between choosing the word "brusquely" vs. "abruptly". I am not entirely sure why I decided to use the first in the end instead of the second. I also changed at the last minute the word "fall" with the word "autumn". I think that the word "fall" has certain implications of an ACTION other than the mere flow of temporal happenning, so I used the more neutral "autumn" instead. Not to mention that both Summer and Autumn have been used as feminine names in English speaking countries, so one could describe just as well 2 seasons as 2 different girls/persons, with different relationships, Summer being here, maybe paradoxically in one sense, maybe natural in another, more mature than fall.)

Anonymous said...

The translation you found on the internet is from the late poet William J. Higginson. He and his widow Penny Harter, an established poet herself, included it in their book published at McGraw-Hill in 1985 titled The Haiku Handbook. The poem by Matsuo Bashō is on page 9 of the book. Amazon.com lists both poets’ writings...