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Frogpond 42.1 • 2019

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay 1 - "Down East Haiku"

Essay 2 - "Farewell Haiku"




Book Reviews


Farewell Haiku of Bashô and Chiyoni

by Richard Tice

"Farewell Haiku of Bashô and Chiyoni" by Richard Tice
(complete PDF version)

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this interview:

Haiku used to have a highly social function. Before the twentieth century most were written at social gatherings or at times of greeting and departing, and either the host or guest or both would create haiku for each other. Such poems were called aisatsu hokku, a haiku of salutation, or greeting, often given as a gift to a visitor (Donegan and Ishibashi 68-70). Generally cheerful and complimentary, the haiku affirmed life. In contrast, another social haiku was written only once, the jisei hokku. Traditionally, Buddhist monks and many poets left a jisei, a farewell poem to life, created on one’s deathbed by the poet and recorded by a follower or friend. These were usually composed as kanshi (poems written in Chinese), waka (two lines of 5-7-5/7-7) or hokku. Unlike most haiku, which generally convey emotion and meaning through objective observation, jisei hokku were often very personal and poignant (Hoffman 27-28). Following in the tradition of writing jisei, Bashô and Chiyoni, the foremost male and female haiku poets of Japan, bequeathed two of their most memorable poems, one last legacy to their followers.

Matsuo Basho (1644-94)

In the fall of 1694, Bashô traveled from Edo to Ueno in central Japan. From Ueno he decided to visit Ôsaka, only forty miles away, to reconcile his two Ôsaka disciples, who frequently quarreled. Although only fifty years old, he struggled to complete the short journey and became ill by the time he arrived. Despite chills and fever, Bashô participated in a few short poetry excursions and small gatherings, but finally he became so sick that his disciples moved him to a room rented from a florist.

[feature continues for several more pages] . . .

Tice, Richard. "Farewell Haiku of Bashô and Chiyoni." Frogpond 42.1, Winter 2019, 104-109.

This excerpt inclues the first page of the feature: page 104. The complete feature includes pages 104-109. To read the complete feature, click on the link to the PDF version:

"Farewell Haiku of Bashô and Chiyoni" by Richard Tice
(complete PDF version)