The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches
- Author: Basho
- Publisher: Pengiun Books
- ISBN: 9780140441857
Basho's haikus are widely read and admired by poetry lovers in the Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Penguin Classics), Basho describes the beauty of nature that he experienced and observed while on his journey through Japan in this edition which has been translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa, Basho's haikus are accompanied with an introduction to the haibun style by Yuasa, which sees poetry and prose working side by side.
Simplicity is inherent in the poetry of Matsuo Basho. While writing this particular collection, he was a student of Zen Buddhism and had decided to travel through the country, getting away from the material world around him. What he sought was nature in its elemental form, wherein he could write and capture the true essence of nature in his work. He wrote of the four seasons and their change into the other and his words depict the way in which he was enlightened by the neutrality of it all. Simple things like the brightness of the moon and a waterfall served as Basho's inspiration and he produced words that would be read posthumously.
In the Narrow Road to the Deep North, it is not just poetry that is striking, it is the sense of serenity that is inherent in Basho's work. He tries to acquaint his readers with his notion of the transient beauty that he saw all around him.