Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Basho Revisited, bidding farewell

Carpe Diem's Special #4
Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today another Carpe Diem Special prompt on a haiku by Basho. Today's haiku by Basho is:

chi ni taore   me ni yori hana no   wakare kana

falling to the ground
a flower closer to the root
bidding farewell

With this haiku came (as was common in Basho's time) a preface or title. For this haiku the title was: 'Mourning over the death of priest Tando'.

Basho and Tando were close friends and he (Basho) was very sad, as you can read in this haiku, very sad when he heard that Tando had passed away. He weeps, while falling on his knees. Maybe with his hands before his face I think so. Tando had teached him some fundamental rules of Zen Buddhism, so Basho flourished after these teachings. He became the flower, but now his friend and teacher had died, the flower felt to the ground closer to the root. He wept for his friend in farewell and wrote this haiku.

As I introduced this new Special prompt on Carpe Diem I wrote already a new haiku inspired by this one. That haiku was the following:

last farewell
a last leaf swirls to the ground
compost for new life

A nice haiku I think, but not a strong one. So I will try to write another haiku inspired on the one by Basho.

shedding tears
my dearest friend and teacher
has gone to heaven

Hm ... also not a strong one, but I think this one is closer to the one written by Basho. I read the same sadness ... I can feel the same feeling as Basho had ... I think this one is in Basho's Spirit.

This was a new Basho Revisited, shared with Carpe Diem a daily haiku meme. It's open for everyone who loves to write haiku (classical or non-classical) ... come and visit, see for yourself and maybe you're inspired to write a haiku ... enjoy the fun ... and share your haiku with Carpe Diem.


  1. I felt your falling leaves encouraging new growth echoed what Tando did for Basho - altho sad for the loss, the teachings inspired and deepened Basho's life and purpose....