BASHO AND THE DAO XI

I had a dream last night in which a newly minted dictator told me that the only miracles are the ones we ourselves create. I replied that if everything is not a miracle, then nothing is. I have no other pertinent contextualizing memory of what this dream was about, but somehow it strikes me as a good way to conclude this series on Basho and his dao.-

At the heart of Basho’s poetry is this appreciation of the miraculous in everything. Very much like what we see in Daoism, the best way to convey this sense is to focus on what is typically dismissed or over-looked. If we are helped to find the wonder in the most mundane and particular in things we discover the wonder in all things.

Absent from this series with a single exception has been the actual poetry of Basho. For that one will have to want to go elsewhere. It’s worth the journey.

If I were to make one criticism of Peipei Qiu’s Basho and the Dao: The Zhuangzi and the Transformation of Haikai, it would be that even though many poems are shared, still the scholarly and analytical context is not entirely conducive to their full appreciation. But this is clearly a purely subjective experience.

In any event, Basho’s haiku do invite an experience of the wondrous mystery of all things.

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