Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home > 244 Basho > Basho - A Biography

Basho - A Biography

by David Barnhill last modified Apr 03, 2011 07:51 AM

Periods in his life and literature

Low ranking samurai in small town (Ueno).

The son of his lord becomes his poetry friend.

Probably lives in Kyoto to begin his poetry career.

Teimon school. Amuse the reader with witty use of language. Little emotional content. Elegant beauty, alluding to court poetry and No drama.

Moves to Edo , where he becomes a successful haikai master.

Danrin school. Expands subject matter and diction to common life. Elegant subjects ridiculed. Word play and allusion used to show humorous contrast to some mundane subject. Also more straightforward simple and spontaneous lighthearted poems. Technique of surprising juxtaposition.

1st Basho hut in outskirts of Edo . Takes up Zen practice. Lonely period. Winter of 1682 his hut burns and a few months later learns his mother died

Transitional period in poetry where he tried to shake of contemporary trends by turning to Chinese and medieval Japanese aesthetics and religion.

Poetry and prose dominated by sabi

1684-85. First journey: Journal of Bleached Bones in a Field.
1685-87. Quiet life in second Bashō hut.
1687-88. 3 trips & journals: Kashima Journal. Knapsack Notebook. Sarashina Journal.
1689-90. Narrow Road to the Deep North .
1690-92. Various places in Kyoto area. Writes several famous haibun.

Returns to Edo and 3rd Bashō hut. Increasing stress from family and disciples. Heads off on journey to the south and dies in Osaka .

Poetry: More focus on social life. Ideal of “lightness”: detachment and humor. Some poems of frustration.





Document Actions
by David Barnhill last modified Apr 03, 2011 07:51 AM