The Heart of Haiku/Jane Hirshfield: it moved me

Sunday, March 18, 2012

There's no accounting for how much I loved Jane Hirshfield's Kindle Single, The Heart of Haiku.  Part biography, part exegesis, this beautiful essay took me to a deep and sweltering place.  Yes, it's about the 17th century artist Basho—about his wandering, about his work.  But it is also about living, breathing, seeing, something I'm not convinced that I do enough of.

It's short.  It's the price of a coffee.  It will take two hours of your life to read, and it will change you.  Buy The Heart of Haiku

An excerpt:
... Basho's work as a whole awakens us to the necessary permeability of all to all.  Awareness of the mind's movements makes clear that it is the mind's nature to move.  Feeling within ourselves the lives of others (people, creatures, plants, and things) who share this world is what allows us to feel as we do at all.  First comes the sight of a block of sea slugs frozen while still alive, then the sharp, kinesthetic comprehension of the inseparability of the suffering of one from the suffering of all. First comes hearing the sound of one bird singing, then the recognition that solitude can carry its own form of beauty, able to turn pain into depth.


Serena said...

Sounds good...and the title is a poetic form..

Deborah Batterman said...

Jane HIrshfield has opened me to new ways of seeing/teaching haiku . . . Yes, I'm a big fan of her poetry and essays -- speaking of which, 'Nine Gates' is a book I can't recommend enough, though I'm guessing you're familiar with it. See -- look at all the good that Good Reads and Facebook has brought? Thanks for letting me know about this Kindle single. There's something to be said for instant gratification.

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