Writing To Basho

Written for:  Carpe Diem Utabukuro #11 (restarting an old feature) “Wisteria Beans” by Matsuo Basho
This feature is based on a haiku by Basho which he wrote when he was around 22 years of age, it’s one of his earliest known haiku according to Jane Reichhold. I have called this new feature “Carpe Diem Utabukuro” , which means “poem bag”.

flower buds
sadly spring winds cannot open
a poem bag

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)


wisteria beans
let’s make that a theme for haikai
a flower fruit

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

With this haiku came a preface, which was very common in Basho’s time:

“A certain Sogyu of Seki visited me when I stayed in Ogaki. I composed this for him in the lingering scent of the flowers which Sogi (1421-1502, a famous renga poet) had called the flowers of Fujishiro (white wisteria) Misaka”. When Sogi had passed through this same area, he had seen some white wisteria growing on the slope and had written: ‘seki koe te / koko mo fujishiro / misaka kana’ (crossing Seki / there still are the white wisteria / at the town in Misaka).

Here is my attempt:

painted faces
they smile at everyone
a pot of pansies


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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5 Responses to Writing To Basho

  1. Sara you followed the flow nicely and with a dash of color (bet it’s purple pansies)


  2. mzach456@comcast.net says:

    pansies-my favorite flower, and yes they smile at everyone

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Candy says:

    This makes me smile

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cressida says:

    Just beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.