Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Favorite Poem (2):

-Matsuo Basho

                  An old silent pond...

                  A frog jumps into the pond,

                  splash! Silence again.

This is my first Haiku, so hopefully I do this right.

This Haiku is a classic, in fact it is from this haiku as an example that I first learned how to make haiku poetry. I have always really liked this poem because it takes a very simple occurrence, a frog jumping into a pond, and magnifies its significance. I like haiku poems because they force the artist to really choose their syllables carefully, charging each one with it’s own individual importance. This makes this poem much more complex than many of the longer ones that we have read.

Basho mentions the pond as old and silent, almost dead even. He creates this imagery of an old decaying pond, quiet from disuse and negligence. And then the statement “A frog jumps into the pond” arises out of the “…” mentioned at the end of line 1. This adds the elements of surprise to the suspense of an empty pond. The frog makes his mark on this desolate pond, and creates his “splash!” But, the frog’s actions only amount to that transitory ripple, as soon after there is silence again.

I found this poem very existentialist, talking about the pond as the world, and how it is old and silent, unmarked. The frog jumps into the pond and makes his attempt to be remembered through his splash, but ultimately there is silence again and his splash is forgotten.

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