The NaturalistWeekly Blog

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.”

Poems about Foxes

If you happen to be lucky enough to have an encounter with a fox, you may be inspired to write a poem about it. Today we have poems for Alice Oswald, Jane Hirshfield, Issa, and a story about Basho.

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.

Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China by David Hinton

In Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China, David Hinton traces the rivers-and-mountains tradition from its origins in the 5th century C.E. to the Sung Dynasty (13th century). "Fundamentally different from the writing that employs the ‘natural world' as the stage or materials for human concerts, this poetry articulates a profound and spiritual sense of belonging to a wilderness of truly awesome dimensions."

Poems about Snow

I remember when I first learned that the Inuit have around 50 words for snow. At that time, my understanding of snow was limited. Now I know that there is so much more to know about snow including the poetry.

Poems About the Moon

From Li Bai, to Kobayashi Issa, to Wallace Stevens, poets across time have tried to capture the moon’s mysterious nature into verse. Today we have seven examples of the moon’s presence in the poetic form.

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