In December 2015, I followed a set of haiku prompts 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 minimalist prose and immaculate haiku.
Bashō’s magnificent work, which is both travelogue and poetic symphony, is sprinkled with references to ancient Japanese history and literature, drawing on the work of revered poets like Saigyō.
Following a month-long discussion on Oku no Hosimichi, on the website Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, this chapbook came together as an inward journey that contains haiku inspired by Bashō’s journey and experiences.
In understanding and appreciating his words, I found both answers and questions that propelled me onward.”
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On the Rough Road:
First published in 2016
Updated: Sep 2021