Grass Sandals: The Travels of Bashoby Dawnine Spivak, Demi (Illustrator)
Basho, perhaps the greatest of Japanese haiku poets, was a man of ultimate simplicity. He loved his homeland and spent much of his later life walking its length and breadth carrying with him the simplest of belongings. It was during these travels that Basho was often inspired to write his haiku. In this stunning book
The story of a modest man and the art he created
Basho, perhaps the greatest of Japanese haiku poets, was a man of ultimate simplicity. He loved his homeland and spent much of his later life walking its length and breadth carrying with him the simplest of belongings. It was during these travels that Basho was often inspired to write his haiku. In this stunning book Dawnine Spivak describes some of Basho's many experiences as he traveled throughout Japan and, on each spread, offers a haiku by Basho that may have been inspired by that experience. On each spread, as well, appears the Japanese character for a word that arises from both the haiku and the story. This is a book that can be used in a number of ways: as a story of an unusual man; as a book about the inspiration of art; and as a book about the beauty of language and the world around us.
After an over-abundance of front matterobtrusive but endearing dedication, two half-title pages, title page, prefatory notes on haiku and Japanese characters (kanji), and an odd spread devoted to old men in China who nest in trees, the story of Basho begins. He leaves his home with few belongings, writing haiku to describe his steady delight in his experiences. The haiku are displayed on the pages; nowhere in the book is it expressly stated that these are Basho's. One verse is credited to Issa, a poet who lived a century after Basho; the CIP states that examples of Basho's work appear but no information backs that assumption; no translator is listed. A map of places Basho visited and a list of what he saw, with place names, is followed by a biographical note. Demi does her best to create a feeling for historical Japan, but the book is dissected into so many notes and extraneous components that the simplicity of Basho's lifeand haiku in generalwill elude readers.
Meet the Author
Dawnine Spivak is living and writing in Vermont. She lives in rented farmhouses where old maples line the dirt road, near violet mountains where cold and poverty protect the beauty of the land. She has taught the Japanese novel and poetry at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Presently Dawnine teaches literature at Sterling College and was a recent member of the Vermont Anti-Hunger Corps.
Demi is the award-winning creator of numerous books for children, including The Empty Pot; Buddha; The Dalai Lama; The Legend of Saint Nicholas; Gandhi, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award; and Muhammad, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice selection, a Booklist Editors’ Choice selection, one of the Booklist Top Ten Religion Books for Youth, and a Book Links “Lasting Connections” selection, and was cited in a Publishers Weekly starred review as a “timely, exceptionally handsome biography [that] serves as an excellent introduction to Islam.” Demi lives in Carnation, Washington.
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