If the proliferation of posters, t-shirts, mugs and grocery bags urging you towards ‘mindfulness’ is starting to grate, 17th century haiku master Basho has your back in today’s episode.
Read Jane Hirshfield’s beautiful translation or check out the Japanese version (which I stuffed up by pronouncing the first character ‘Kyoto’ instead of ‘Kyo’…here’s a Japanese cuckoo to make up for that).
At first, Romania’s national poet Mihai Eminescu seems like your standard tragic Romantic poet. But as Cristina Haraba explains, he’s much actually much more human than that.
Describing Mew’s life as ‘tragic’ doesn’t quite cover it. She lost family members to physical and mental illness, struggled against Victorian values as an all but closeted lesbian, and ended her life alone. Yet this poem is anything but tragic – it’s stirring and strangely timeless.