• josephaversano

Bashō on the "Bungled" Poem

Updated: Feb 5


Portait of Basho by Hokusai
Portait of Basho by Hokusai, late 18th century. Creative Commons License.

"Master Bashō said, 'People in general want to be safe in writing a poem. Experts, however, venture into dangerous territory. Therefore, experts always produce many bungled poems' " (Ueda 351).


This was quoted by the samurai Kyoriku, one of Bashō's poetry students who, in turn, happened to be Bashō's painting instructor. (Bashō was referring to his own poem written for the New Year: year after year / on the monkey's face / a monkey's mask) (Ueda 351, 420).



 
Ueda, M. 1992. Bashō and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary. Stanford University Press.










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