Whilst my year of adventure is coming to an end, I am exquisitely aware of something new beginning in me. I’ve felt it for a while, and I’m not even sure I can put it into words yet, but it has something to do with my haiku adventure and something to do with trees and something to do with Japan.
As I’ve been doing research for my book, Seventeen Syllables : Cultivating Presence Through Poetry, I’ve become fascinated by the haiku form and its origins. The modern haiku form is most closely associated with the seventeenth century poet, Matsuo Bashō.
In 1686, Bashō composed one of his best-remembered haiku. Historians believe that this poem became instantly famous.
furu ike ya / kawazu tobikomu / mizu no oto
An ancient pond / a frog jumps in / the sound of water
For today’s adventure, I’m going to recite this haiku in Japanese. It’s not only considered to be the most famous haiku poem written by Bashō, it’s also considered to be one of the most famous haiku in the world! I learned how to recite the poem by watching this brilliant video on YouTube.
I am just going outside and may be some time.