Matsuo Basho

In an effort to indulge my fantasy of posing the 7 haikuHoopla questions to the great master, I asked the authors featured at this site to don the hat of Matsuo Basho for a day. Matt Coughlan’s responses resonated with my imagination of how Basho would have answered. I hope you enjoy this surrealistic departure from our regularly scheduled program.

1. Please share a haiku you have written.

Image from Irish Haiku Society

Matsuo Basho: Image from Irish Haiku Society

Oh capricious moon!
What is the reason now
to leave the crickets

2. Why did you pick this one?

Did Buddha choose
the seasons or did he
accept the dawn

3. How many have you written? How often do you write? What inspires you?

What are these leaves
that gather at my feet
in autumn

4. Why do your write haiku? How did you get started?

The rain falls
when the clouds
finish the sky

5. Do you work with other forms related to haiku, like renga, senryu, haiga, tanka, etc.?

The ancient pond
a fish jumps
the silver fog
matches the whiskers
in my beard

6. What advice would you give to aspiring haiku writers?

An apple
falls in my hand
then another

7. Where can people read your haiku?

The wind
whispers to the petals
who know the words

Comments

  • John Buchanan  On February 4, 2014 at 11:30 am

    This is an interesting approach, but given there are conventions about what classifies as a haiku, should the first question have been; ‘what do you think of the conventions?’
    As none of the “haiku” answers follow the conventions, I guess Matt thinks Basho would not have thought much of them!
    Whilst the concept is good I find the execution sadly lacking.

    • Leena Prasad  On February 5, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Many modern haiku poets do no follow the traditional haiku conventions as you’ll see in many of the Q&As at this site. You might also want to check out https://www.facebook.com/NaHaiWriMo?fref=ts which is founded by the VP of the Haiku Society of America.

      The concept for the Basho haiku was to present Basho with a modern spirit.

      The seven questions are the standard questions for all Q&As at this site.

  • John Buchanan  On February 6, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I agree with you when you say “many modern poets do not follow the traditional haiku conventions.” This is in fact nothing short of saying that many (most) modern haiku are nothing but short poems.

    A haiku is about conveying brilliant ideas in a very formal structured way. This is by its nature difficult, it is supposed to be difficult, it is about ‘showing off’.

    The sad thing is many poets are; unaware of what a Haiku is, or too lazy, or are just not up to writing a real (good) Haiku. As such we are left with poets trying to pass off their work as Haiku. It is exactly the same as saying a 4 line limerick is a limerick – it is not.

    If a poet wants to write a Haiku they should write one, following all the conventions. The alternative is to write a brilliant short poem and call it a short poem. ( I would enjoy it just as much) Don’t allow something brilliant to be turned into something mediocre by the masses.

    I guess what I am saying is; by calling a short poem a haiku, a poet does nothing but demonstrate ignorance, which is the exact opposite of what a Haiku is all about.

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