The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches which I mentioned in my previous post contains a lot of the poet Basho’s prose in addition to his poems. This is very interesting as it allows the reader to understand the context in which each poem was written which I find really helps me appreciate his frame of mind. One thing that struck me was that most all of his poems were written in response to simple, even trivial events or situations. They basically document a stream of consciousness. He changes his clothes; he writes a poem about it. He was invited to a party; he writes a poem about it; he stops for lunch; he writes a poem about it. He failed to come up with any inspiration from a famous site; he writes a poem about that too.
I was thinking about this poetry of the ordinary while walking the other day and found trying to follow suit a good way to acknowledge one of the experiences of my own day:
Hints of spring abound
Under receding snow banks
The smell of dog shit.