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The Essential Basho
     

The Essential Basho

by Matsuo Basho, Sam Hamill (Translator)
 

     Here is the most complete single-volume collection of writings by one of the great luminaries of Asian literature. Includes a masterful translation of Basho's most celebrated work, Narrow Road to the Interior, along with three less well-known works and over 250 of Basho's finest haiku. The translator has included an overview of

Overview

     Here is the most complete single-volume collection of writings by one of the great luminaries of Asian literature. Includes a masterful translation of Basho's most celebrated work, Narrow Road to the Interior, along with three less well-known works and over 250 of Basho's finest haiku. The translator has included an overview of Basho's life and an essay on the art of haiku.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One of Japan's most famous poets, B asho (1644-94) spent much of his life writing as he traveled around Japan. Here Hamill, a poet and translator of Chinese, Japanese, Greek, and Latin, presents sensitive and beautiful translations from B asho's most famous work, Narrow Road to the Interior, along with Travelogue of Weather-Beaten Bones, The Knapsack Notebook, Sarashina Travelogue, and a large selection of haiku. The Japanese original is included in Romanization. In the excerpts, B asho combines prose descriptions of his route with poems by himself and by friends. Many of the poems are grounded in a sense of place ("The winds that blow/ through South Valley Temple/ are sweetened by snow"), some reflect on life ("It's good now and then/ to go out snow-viewing/ until I tumble"), but most depict nature, his favorite theme ("The bee emerging/ from deep within the peony/ departs reluctantly"). Hamill introduces the works with explanations of poetic references and conventions and appended notes that explicate specifics. Some poems will still be obscure, but this is recommended as a good overview to this major poet.--Kitty Dean Chen, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, NY
Tricycle Magazine
Four of Basho's works, including his famous Narrow Road to the Interior, further enhanced by poet Sam Hamill's sensitive translations. The frogs are jumping and the leaves are falling throughout.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570622823
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
03/30/1999
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
8.08(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.31(d)

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Meet the Author

Basho (1644–1694)—the most revered poet of Japanese literature—is best known in the West as the author of Narrow Road to the Interior , a travel diary of his journey through northern Japan. Basho elevated the haiku to an art form of utter simplicity and intense spiritual beauty. His travel diaries of linked prose and haiku created a new genre of writing that inspired generations of Japanese poets.

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