Carpe Diem Special – Hattori Ransetsu (1654-1707) – March 6, 2016

Basho’s Disciples  (Shoomon)

“Ransetsu was a disciple of Basho, and his allegiance was so strong that when he died Ransetsu is said to have shaved his head and embraced Buddhism. Basho is said to have remarked “I cannot equal Ransetsu in poetical austerity.”
Just like Basho, Ransetsu also spent time travelling and recorded this in his dairies with haiku. Ransetsu was counted by Master Yosa Buson as one of four great haiku poets to be visited by aspiring poets.

The Haiku of Ransetsu are marked by the presence of compassion, and the most famous haiku of Ransetsu is probably this one about the childless woman:

The childless woman,
How tender she is
To the dolls!

© Ransetsu (Tr. R.H.Blyth)”

Here is my attempt to write in Ransetsu’s style:

wet daffodil

like a daffodil
she stands in the rain
bent under tears

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem Special #200 Basho’s disciples: Ransetsu’s “against the blue”

In the C.D. Special there are many other poems by Ransetsu which are a delight to read – these are dedicated to Basho himself:

one leaf falls
now, another leaf falls
in the wind

At dusk the harvest moon
paints a pine-tree
against the blue

In stony moonlight
hills and fields on every side
white and bald as eggs …

Above the pilgrims
chanting on a misty road
wild geese are flying

New year’s day
The sky is cloudless;
Sparrows are gossiping

© Ransetsu (Tr. unknown)

And here is Chèvrefeuille’s inspired haiku:

against the dark sky
the statue of Basho seems to come alive
rustling of leaves

© Chèvrefeuille

For more information please click the link above.

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