Monday, September 30, 2019

Evanston: folly revisited; Basho

I finished rereading Barbara Tuchman’s THE MARCH OF FOLLY several days ago.  I continue my ongoing study of folly through the daily news.

I considered suggesting that the book be required reading by everyone in every government in every country in the world, but then, realizing the blindness to reason and fact that folly is, concluded there would be no point.

I next read NARROW ROAD TO THE INTERIOR and other writings by the 17th Century Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho.  

Here are a few of his poems.

Summer grasses:
All that remains of great soldiers’
Imperial dreams

May the ocean resist
Violating the vows
Of the osprey’s nest

A great soldier’s empty helmet,
A cricket sings

These winter showers—
Even the monkey searches
For a raincoat

Sick on my journey
Only my dreams will wander
These desolate moors.

The last is said to be his Death Poem.