Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This Road!

This Road!
by Scott Bradley


This road!
With no one going —
Autumn evening.

This is another of Basho's haiku translated and discussed by Aitkens (A Zen Wave). There is apparently a wide range of interpretative opinion among scholars about this poem, which I will take as an invitation to offer my own.

What Basho intended to say is: The road is empty this autumn evening.

But ‘the road’ is This Road! It is no other, but this very road here beneath my feet. Begin there, experience this, and feel what you will — what Basho subsequently felt is of no great import. He would only show us the gate.

But is Basho on this road upon which no one goes? If so, then Basho has forgotten himself this autumn evening. Yet he has remembered to let us know. So, he was there! Only he was there as if not there. Or he was all that was there — road and autumn evening.

Would not Basho just laugh and say, "Discover any This!, and you will know"?

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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