6 Tarantino Evan

Walking down my street, I noticed three icicles hanging off the back of a car.

In a driveway

Icicles drip

Onto asphalt

Basho

 

I have been thinking a lot about the distinction that Professor Inouye made in class last week as to why Basho is so revered. As we discussed in lecture, the fact that he was trapped between the old school (in which you are meant to lose yourself) and the new school (in which you are meant to find yourself) Basho relatable throughout his adventures. He is discovering as we are discovering, and the perspective that he begins to develop suggests a modern undercurrent despite the prevalent poetic voice. Moreover, in my mind, his transitory nature (being neither here nor there,) illustrates that he is like a seed being blown by the wind through psychological field of self-discovery. His conception of time, “The months and days are travellers of eternity. The years that come and go are also voyagers”(Basho, 19), is in line with his “floating” conception of self, “I…have been stirred by the sight of a solitary cloud drifting with the wind to ceaseless thoughts of roaming (Basho, 19). What is especially intriguing about Basho is that while he relies on self-discovery throughout his travels, and thus his conception of self is constantly forming and changing, he seems to accept certain personal qualities as fixed elements of his self. For example, the fact that he “seemed to be possessed by the spirits of wanderlust…[and] could not settle down to work” (Basho, 19) because of the beckoning of “the guardian spirits of the road” (Basho, 19), suggests that his sense of self is dominated by a drive to wander that is beyond his control. How, then, is he to develop a true sense of self if the void that he hopes to fill through self-discovery is controlled by this powerful, irresistible transitory tendency?

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