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On Love and Barley – Haiku of Basho


One of Japan’s greatest poets, Basho is most known for his elegant haiku. Born in the 17th century, he first learned poetry whilst acting as a servant and companion to a local lord. Following the Lord’s sudden death, Basho began to study poetry and haiku more seriously and even began to teach the art. Following a string of personal losses and feeling dissatisfied with his life, Basho set out to independently travel Japan – a feat almost unheard of in the warring medieval Japan.

Inspired by the scenery and landscapes, and friendly people he encountered along the way, Basho began to write haiku about the beauty he saw in nature. Many of the haiku in this book evoke imagery of the natural world and beauty of the changing of the seasons.

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