In December 2015, I followed a month long haiku prompt list at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai based on Basho’s travelogue “Oku no Hosomichi”, hosted by Kristjaan Panneman.
I’ve compiled my responses along with some new haiku and prose into a collection I call ‘On the Rough Road‘
As I say in the introduction:
“Bashō set off from Edo with his student Sora on a 2400 km journey to the Northern provinces of Honshu, which he later described in his book Oku no Hosomichi, a masterly construct that shines with simple prose and immaculate haiku.
The verses in this publication are inspired by that magnificent work which is both travelogue and poetic symphony sprinkled with references to ancient Japanese history and literature, drawing on the work of revered poets like Saigyō.
Far from treading on Bashō’s toes, this compilation is an inward journey that presents an inspired view through a personal prism, always keeping a marked respectful distance from the master.
Under his every verse, I found questions that defined the shape of my footsteps behind his. In the understanding of his momentous journey, I unravelled new answers that propelled me onward.“
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On the Rough Road:
First published in 2016
Updated: May 2021