Micro-season: “The First Frog Calls”

We have entered the micro-season of “The First Frog Calls”, which is the first micro-season of the mini-season of First Summer. In this season we investigate why frogs call and who are the first frogs to call. We also look at Basho’s famous Frog Pond haiku and the haiku responses from Issa and Buson.

Mini Season: Awakening of Insects

We have entered the mini Season of Awakening of Insects. This season is all about animals emerging from hibernation. As a way to honor this season, we will investigate the calls of the spring peeper and wood frog. We will also read some spring haiku by Issa, Buson, and Sookan.

Poems About Winter Nights

Gazing up into the darkness on a clear winter night, I quickly get lost in my own mind with thoughts about life and the vastness of time. Luckily I have poets like Teasdale, Hughes, Basho, Issa, Buson, and Toshimi to provide me company.

Poems about January Winds

January is typically the coldest time of the year and today we look at the poetry of Helen Hunt Jackson, William Carlos Williams, Basho, Issa, and Shiki as they explore the impact of the winter winds.

The Heart of Haiku by Jane Hirshfield

The Heart of Haiku is a short book written by Jane Hirshfield in which she investigates the evolution of Matsuo Basho’s writing and poetry. Using Basho’s own words and haiku, Hirschfield demonstrates Basho's impact on the poetic world.  

Poems About Woodpeckers

In the winter woods the sound of a woodpecker resonates through the trees. This drumming or tapping behavior of the woodpeckers makes these birds both noticeable and unique. As a result there are many poems written about them. Today we have poems by Dickinson, Alling, Basho, Issa, and Silverstein.

Basho, The Narrow Road, and Haibun

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is Basho’s third book documenting his travels in Japan, and it is considered one of the major Japanese texts from the Edo period. This book, written in haibun, demonstrates Basho’s mastery of this form. Yuasa states that the “prose and haiku illuminate each other like two mirrors held up facing each other.”

Exploring Basho’s Moon

Basho's poem about the moon glow and the drifting clouds makes me think about the Buddhist teaching of the Two Truths. However, I wanted to know what other people thought. So I asked and what I learned was pretty fascinating.

Micro-Season: The Maple and Ivy Turn Yellow

We successfully moved into the micro-season of “The Maple and Ivy Turn Yellow”, which means we are coming to the end of the mini season of Frost Descent. As the name of this micro-season suggests, we are highlighting the change in foliage that occurs with deciduous trees. Basho, Issa, and T'ao Ch'ien contribute to this reflection with their seasonal poems.

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