Sunday, September 16, 2012

Basho Revisited, bridge of morning

Also published and shared on: poets united's poetry pantry


Another haiku about moon-viewing. Also a great one, but not so well known. As we know, the moon is a season word for autumn. So this one is an autumn verse written in 1689.

asamutsu ya   tsukimi no tabi no   ake banare

bridge of morning
a journey of moon-viewing
at dawn

With this haiku came a preface: "When we crossed the bridge of Asamutsu, which is popularly known as 'Asazu', I recall a passage in 'The Pillow Book of Sei Shanagan (a female poet) who wrote: "The most interesting bridges are the bridge of Asamutsu, (and of Nagara and of Amabiko)". This is the very bridge.
According to Jane Reichhold the third sentence 'ake banare' in a longer translation would be to say 'to leave the darkness of night into the light of morning'. The bridge of Asamutsu is about 8 km soutj of Fukui, in Asuwa.

Personally I love the longer translation of the third sentence, but it's really to long 'at dawn' says the same.
A closer look pictures the moon in the early morning hidden behind thin clouds making her mysterious. At the same time as the moon-viewing in the early morning the sun rises to his place at the autumn sky.

Well ... here I go ... a new haiku, as promised in the first part of these series:

in the thin line
of night's leave into the day
sun and moon together

in the thin line
leaving the night into the day
sun and moon dancing

A tough one to write another haiku in Basho's Spirit. I don't know if this one has that Spirit, but I love the scene.

Sincerely,poets united's poetry pantry


  1. Lovely image, both in the pictures and in your words.

  2. Nicely done. I enjoy Basho's work as well, I recently read Basho: The Complete Haiku translated by Reichhold. A lovely read.

  3. All three
    struck me
    with their beauty
    their simplicity

  4. The picture is spectacular and so are both poems, sorry I haven't been by in a while, hope all is well with you. It was a real pleasure reading you again, take care.

  5. Yes, it does have that spirit... you say it's a tough one to write but you make it appear effortless... I too like the longer translation for "at dawn" but I get that it's too long. This was very beautiful and brought a sweet peace to my soul this morning. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Beautifully written --all of them--and I am glad that you included the original Japanese for those of us who understand a bit of it---

  7. sweet - Basho is one of my favourite poets.