by Matsuo Basho

English version by Gabriel Rosenstock
Original Language Japanese

     as ice bursts
          the water jar

-- from Haiku Enlightenment: New Expanded Edition, by Gabriel Rosenstock

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Ooh, I like this haiku. Don't you?

It's got sound to it-- You can hear the jar crack and burst from the expanding ice.

We've got the natural element of water. Water in transformation, becoming ice.

And that very human moment of being startled awake, the transitional space between sleep and wakefulness.

All of that's just reading this haiku on the most literal, surface level.

We can, if we choose, catch suggestions of enlightenment. Something within is transforming, expanding, bursting its container. The event awakens us.

Recommended Books: Matsuo Basho

Zen Poetry: Let the Spring Breeze Enter The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry Haiku Enlightenment: New Expanded Edition The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) The Four Seasons: Japanese Haiku
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