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Here is the most complete single-volume collection of the writings of one of the great luminaries of Asian literature. Basho (–)—who elevated the haiku . to his lucid and engaging translation of Bashō’s greatest achievement, his famed travelogue Narrow Road to the Interior (Oku no Hosomichi). Narrow Road to the Interior By Matsuo Basho. Translated by Sam Hamill. Shambhala Publications: Boston, pp. $ (paperback). addiss_1.

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Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings

In which year it was I do not recall, but I, too, narrlw to be lured by the wind like a fragmentary cloud and have since been unable to resist wanderlust, roaming out to the seashores. There is also a nice translation online by Tim Chilcott. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Through his exemplary life, Basho demonstrates that it’s possible to be a truly saintly person without having to be an ascetic — So many poems about drinking and hangovers, and even a handful of haiku that delicately hint at One of the great masterpieces of Buddhist literature — or, indeed, of literature of any sort.

I read this and Nobuyuki Yuasa’s translation together. There is also a selection of over two hundred fifty of Basho’s finest haiku. While the rules make my haiku better, I feel, than they would be without the rules these rules require me to worry and ponder over each wordthe rigidity has stopped my writing over the past couple of years. A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.

It was so interesting to me how he traveled and met other writers and they interkor poetry to each other. The years that come and go are also voyagers. It may be his best known work, but his other travel journals merit a close look, particularly The Knapsack Notebook. Matsuo Basho served a Samurai household until the master of that house died. I know nothing about Japanese, but my guess is that Hamill’s is a ihterior translation geared more toward capturing the spirit of the words than their literal meanings.


Everyone told us to see it. PoetrySpiritualityTravelWriting. A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. Hamill In fact, though such transitory experience is just that — transitory — one can fix it, in a way, in verse, and fixed, that experience can be caught for generations yet to come.

What were the holidays that Basho so soberly celebrated? Life itself is a journey; and as for those who spend their days upon the waters in ships and those who grow old leading horses, their very home is the open road. May 14, Pages.

Oku no Hosomichi – Wikipedia

Those who float away their lives on ships or who grow old leading horses are forever journeying, and their homes are wherever their travels take them. It may be his best known work, but his I read the Shambhala Press edition …every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. Written more than years ago, this book is still makes for a good travel companion. The Shambhala Pocket Library is a collection of short, portable teachings from notable figures across religious traditions and classic texts.

He is an influential poet in his own right.

I preferred Hamill’s introduction. Sailors whose lives float away as they labor on boats, horsemen who encounter old age as they draw the horse around once more by the bit, they also spend their days in intedior and make their home in wayfaring. Several journeys narow various years in the poet’s life. A lovely book, spare and clean and beautiful. The translator refers to them as the Basho school of poetry. Add to Cart Add to Cart.


What helped my reading immensely were the photographs from Google images. The Narrow Road to the Interior provides a beautiful journey of an influential Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho and his companion. It was nice to read Basho’s haiku alongside descriptions of the times and places in which he wrote them, but the strongest impression that I took away from the book was Basho’s deep awareness of the history of the world around him. I don’t want you to think that I didn’t enjoy this book, because I did.

Its blessing flows down from these mountains, enriching all our lives.

Narrow Road to the Interior

But when spring came with its misty skies, the god of temptation possessed me with a longing to pass knterior Barrier of Shirakawa, and road gods beckoned, and I could not set my mind to anything. The days and months are travellers of eternity, just like the years that come and go. Apr 14, S.

Along his journey, he visits all the sights he has read about in prose and poetry by other Influential Japanese writers, paying homage to them by writing poetry at the same spots and often naming them in the documentation of his travels.

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It required, on my part, a lot of anrrow looking, Google image searching, re-reading, and note taking. The following quotation from The Narrow Road captures a sense of that:.

It is sparse; bare-boned. I am a poet and try to write haiku, sometimes I succeed but often I forget the elements required.