Basho's Journey Essay example

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1. Where and when does Basho start his travels?

Basho’s journey starts from a 17th Century Japanese city called Edo (present-day Tokyo). He had a cottage in a quiet, rural part of the city. He left Edo in the Spring season, “ It was the Twenty-seventh Day, almost the end of the Third Month.” (p. 2112)

2. Why does Basho start his travels?

Like many of us do, Basho was beginning to question the purpose of his existence. In comparison to what Dante was going through during the time he wrote the Inferno, Basho is having somewhat of a mid-life crisis.

“ I myself fell prey to wanderlust some years ago, desiring nothing better than to be a vagrant cloud scudding before the wind... But the year ended before I knew it... Bewitched by
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She also described the poems as “gifts” to the reader. In comparison to Montaigne, Basho is not only quoting poets and scholars, he is finding poems to suit the moments he experiences. Basho is making an attempt to take the reader on a journey into his own personal paradigm where nature is king.

Further, remember Basho’s famous poem that Elizabeth pointed out in class:
“Furuike ya”

POEM               TRANSLATION     MEANING furuike ya          a pond          nature, permanence kawazu tobikomu     frog jumps in      springtime, twilight mizu no oto           sound of water     ripples and splash... onomatopoeia

She referred to this as the Japanese “to be or not to be”

4. Pick a single haiku and explain its concerns and affects on the story.

p. 2112
     Departing springtime: birds lament and fishes too
     have tears in their eyes.

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