A Poem Named "Basho in the Genju Hut"
(posted Tuesday, Aug. 27; to be composted Tuesday, Sept. 10)
To hear "A Poem Named 'Basho in the Genju Hut'" read by the poet, click here or on the title.
A human life is measured
in a linked sequence of dwellings.
The Basho Hut gave Basho
both shelter and a name;
and then he burned to travel.
Genju (the monk whose name
translates as "Unreal") had died,
yet he left behind a hut
where, much later, Basho stopped,
tasting Genju's precept:
The world and those that dwell
under its roof are ... unreal.
Call it a hut, a name
transferred from hand to hand.
His poems sheltered Basho,
and poems translate the world:
Basho in the Unreal Hut.
Alfred Corn's 10th book of poems, Tables, will be published this January. He spent the earlier part of this year as a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge, working on a new version of Rilke's Duino Elegies.