Sacred Poetry

Words are limited to convey what is beyond conception but poetry allows us to express the inexpressible.

Matsuo Basho (1644 – November 28, 1694)

Matsuo Basho (1644 – November 28, 1694)

Basho took his name from the Japanese word for "banana tree." He was given a gift of a banana tree by a student and the poet immediately identified with it: the way the small tree stood there with its large, soft, fragile leaves. (See his banana plant haiku.) Basho was probably born in 1644 in Iga Province outside of Kyoto, Japan. His father was a poor samurai-farmer. As a teenager, Basho entered the service of the local lord, acting as a page. The young lord was only a … [Read more...]

Han Shan – Cold Mountain

Han Shan – Cold Mountain

To view a movie about Han Shan , click here. Cold Mountain: Director: Mike Hazard & Deb Wallwork | Producer: Mike Hazard Synopsis: "Cold Mountain" is a film portrait of the Tang Dynasty Chinese poet Han Shan, a.k.a. Cold Mountain. Recorded on location in China, America and Japan, Burton Watson, Red Pine and the legendary Gary Snyder describe the poet's life and tell poems. A trickster, Han Shan wrote poems for everyone, not just the educated elite. A man free of … [Read more...]