Presentation for dVerse Poets: Japanese Death Poems

Today I’m presenting Japanese Death Poems at dVerse Poets for Meeting the Bar, please join us:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/09/24/jisei-japanese-death-poems/

Matsuo Basho

Matsuo Basho

 

Basho's death poem

Wikipedia:  Matsuo Bashō, 1644-1694, was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku.

 

Clouds silhouetted
against setting sun’s waning
winter’s sleep is near
*
Singing temple bell
encircles the valley’s pond
resting place awaits
*
No need for despair
this shell has aged and withered
morning breaks again
celebrate my renewal
freedom is mine, farewell all!
*
Howling, sickly wolf
moonless path ends abruptly
heart heavy, cries die
*
I had a nice drive
the journey was full and wide
the outing complete
*
Cherry blossoms drift
on the breeze scattering far
and near, I gather
memories to take with me,
hands grasp only emptiness
*
Wide awake I’ve been
for what seems like just a blink
slumber beckons now
*
Long, drawn-out journey
sharp mind in a withered shell
window framed my world
slowly now, life is ebbing
my path worn down by my dreams
*
Coming and going
are inconsequential and
meaningless yet we
celebrate the one and mourn
the other, pure balderdash!
*
Mountain’s pinnacle
will soon be summitted, the
loon’s call through the mist
guides me to the unseen peak,
only a few more paces

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