When times are tough or when things start to darken your soul, do you have a favourite poem or poet you like to retreat to? The work of Japanese Haiku Master, Basho, provides a bolthole for me on such occasions, and recent events in the UK have led me to revisit his poetry.
In his sketch, The Records of a Travel- Worn Satchel, Basho advocated “all who achieve greatness in art possess one thing in common………. they are one with nature.” He spent his time travelling alone around Japan and getting closer to nature. He found the solitude (shabi) helped to block out distraction and enabled him to find lightness (karumi) and a spirit of poverty (wabi) to write his haiku.
Reading Basho takes you into the heart of nature, blocks out the distractions provided by a world seemingly hell bent on destroying itself. Sometimes the noise from current events provides a disconnect from our reason for being. Reconnecting with Basho has reconnected me with nature. I have experienced again, the feel of wet grass on bare feet, watched bees dancing amongst the lavender, listened to the blackbird announcing the dawn.
Basho’s work reminds us that the awe and simplicity of nature will always shine a light in the darkness.
What poems or poets provide an escape for you? I would love to hear about them.
Why not pop over to the Go Dog Go Café. I’ve taken Basho’s poetry over there and there’s coffee and a café haiku going on.