On the Rough Road

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‘ (Click for PDF)

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.

2 thoughts on “On the Rough Road

  1. For many years, my design goal as an architect was “elegant Simplicity.” Not surprising then, that I was drawn to the Haiku form when I began exploring poetry. I’m impressed with how you’ve approached this poetic journey with reverence and humility while still expressing the essence of your personality. Thank you, as I no longer can see to drive, yours makes the perfect road trip.

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    1. Thanks so much. This began as a month long prompt at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, following Basho’s book. I compiled all my responses into this little chapbook. The book by Basho is fascinating in its timeless relevance and as you rightly called it “elegant simplicity’.

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