December 14th 2015

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mid-
····December—streetlights above a moonless
···············mist
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There were a variety of haiku schools through the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and Basho, as he developed, studied and wrote under the influence of several. By the close of his life he began promoting his own style called “lightness” or light-heartedness—haiku drawn from the everyday or “mundane”. This was a very different aesthetic from the commonly vulgar, too literary or overly refined haiku of his contemporaries. When reading Basho’s haiku in translation, however, the modern western reader may be apt to dismiss them as trivial. They require at least some familiarity with the Zen aesthetic. I want to explore that aesthetic in my own haiku, that lightness or simplicity, but I don’t know if it’s possible. I walked to the village store this evening after nightfall. The evening remains warm, overcast, and a mist rises from the damp road.
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38: December 14th 2015 | bottlecap

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