On Love and Barley: Haiku of Bash?

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University of Hawaii Press, 1985 - Poetry - 92 pages
3 Reviews
In a thoughtful and perceptive introduction, Stryk sets the stage for an appreciation of what Basho s poetry has to offer, sketching his life, his times, his spirit. For most of his life Basho was a recluse. He lived on the outskirts of Edo (Tokyo) in a hut shaded by an exotic banana tree (the Basho). When he traveled, he relied entirely on the hospitality of temples and fellow poets. His poems were strongly influenced by the Zen sect of Buddhism and its ideals of lightness, detachment, and appreciation of the commonplace. Basho aspired to and achieved unity of life and art, his poems become inseparable from nature."

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User Review  - ponsonby - LibraryThing

Even in translation, where they inevitably must lose something, these poems are minatures of perfection, with a lightness and an unforced quality so different from the artifice and contrivance of many ... Read full review

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I greatly looked forward to reading Basho, but when I picked this book up from the library I was disappointed - as a lover of haiku, I'm very hopeful that this was merely a case of poor translation. I've read plenty of haiku that is as beautiful as it is simple, but these are just confusing.
Will try Basho again gladly, just not this translation.

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About the author (1985)

Lucien Stryk, whose translations figure prominently in Zen, is co-editor with the late Takashi Ikemoto, of the Penguin Book of Zen Poetry. He lives in Dekalb, Illinois.

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