Branching Out Milwaukee: Jane Hirshfield on Bashō
Matsuo Bashō, wandering the back-country fields, mountains, and cities of 17th-century Japan and of his own life, distilled the immensities of human experience into single images of striking depth and feeling. Bashō offered the seventeen-syllable haiku as an evocative and democratic form for capturing the realizations of ordinary existence. His brief poems—sometimes sorrowful, sometimes humorous, always acutely perceptive—revolutionized and transfigured not only the poetry of his own time but current American and world poetry as well. In this talk, Jane Hirshfield will explore the poet’s life and teachings, the inner workings of haiku, and the poems themselves, revealing both the continuing usefulness and the lasting exhilaration of Bashō's restless discoveries.
A joint initiative with the Poetry Society of America, Branching Out: Poetry for the 21st Century is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.