Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Complex Acts of Human Awareness

When our group visited Japan in 2007, I saw this one plant (and a little moss) 
thriving in a crevice of the intricate stonework of  a castle's foundation. 
Everywhere I looked in Japan,
I saw evidences of intelligent and beautiful craftsmanship.

Editor's Note: I have been revisiting old Paris Review Interviews with poets.
Did you know that all these writer's interviews are now available online?
Today I was reading the interview with Jorie Graham and found Basho!

"I do worry considerably about a reader’s patience—how much mental or emotional space they have in their life in this crushingly full world to give to the reading of a poem. Many of today’s readers prefer fast poems with stated conclusions, partly because they can fit them into their day. Who can blame them? They have precious little time. They want the Cliff Notes to the overwhelmingly huge novel. Of course, it is poetry’s job to try to provide the very opposite—to recomplicate the oversimplified thing. This doesn’t require going on at length—lord knows some of the more complex acts of human awareness occur in Basho."
                       from Jorie Graham, The Art of Poetry 85. 
               Paris Review, Spring, 2003, Issue No. 165.
Deep autumn--
my neighbor
how does he live, I wonder
trans by Robert Hass
autumn deepens
so what does he do
the man next door
trans. by Jane Reichhold

this autumn
why getting older is like
a bird into clouds
trans. by Jane Reichhold

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