Matsuo Bashō, born Matsuo Kinsaku, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa

Bashō, born Matsuo Kinsaku, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa

Japanese Haiku Poet, Zen Monk

Author Quotes

Cooling, so cooling, with a wall against my feet, midday sleep?behold.

Ill on a journey; my dreams wander over a withered moor.

Sadly, I part from you; like a clam torn from its shell, I go, and autumn too.

This autumn- why am I growing old? Bird disappearing among clouds.

Coolness of the melons flecked with mud in the morning dew.

It has rained enough to turn the stubble on the field black.

Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.

Travelling, sick my dreams roam on a withered moor.

Crossing long fields, frozen in its saddle, my shadow creeps by.

It rains during the morning. No visitors today. I feel lonely and amuse myself by writing at random. These are the words: Who mourns makes grief his master. Who drinks makes pleasure his master.

Seek on high bare trails sky-reflecting violets... Mountain-top jewels.

Wake butterfly ? It?s late, we?ve miles to go together.

Don't imitate me; it's as boring as the two halves of a melon.

Just washed, How chill the white leeks!

Sick on a journey ? over parched fields dreams wander on.

Waking in the night; the lamp is low, the oil freezing.

Eaten alive by lice and fleas -- now the horse beside my pillow pees.

Mountain-rose petals falling, falling, falling now... waterfall music.

Sick on my journey, only my dreams will wander these desolate moors. [Basho?s Death Poem]

When composing a verse let there not be a hair's breath separating your mind from what you write; composition of a poem must be done in an instant, like a woodcutter felling a huge tree or a swordsman leaping at a dangerous enemy.

Even in Kyoto--hearing the cuckoo's cry--I long for Kyoto. A crow has settled on a bare branch-- autumn evening. The crane's legs have gotten shorter in the spring rain. Weathered bones on my mind, a wind-pierced body. This road - no one goes down it, autumn evening. Another year gone--hat in hand, sandals on my feet. The old pond--a frog jumps in sound of water. The winter sun--on the horse's back my frozen shadow. Seeing people off, being seen off-- autumn in Kiso. A cold rain starting and no hat-- so? Singing, flying, singing the cuckoo keeps busy. Visiting the graves--white-haired, leaning on their canes. Midnight frost--I'd borrow the scarecrow's shirt. When the winter chrysanthemums go there's nothing to write about but radishes.

My body, now close to fifty years of age, has become an old tree that bears bitter peaches, a snail which has lost its shell, a bagworm separated from its bag; it drifts with the winds and clouds that know no destination. Morning and night I have eaten traveler's fare, and have held out for alms a pilgrim's wallet.

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself.

When I speak my lips feel cold - the autumn wind.

From all these trees, in the salads, the soup, everywhere, cherry blossoms fall.

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Bashō, born Matsuo Kinsaku, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa
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Japanese Haiku Poet, Zen Monk