Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings (Shambhala Classics) (Paperback)
A masterful translation of one of the most-loved classics of Japanese literature—part travelogue, part haiku collection, part account of spiritual awakening
Bashō (1644–1694)—a great luminary of Asian literature who elevated the haiku to an art form of utter simplicity and intense spiritual beauty—is renowned in the West as the author of Narrow Road to the Interior, a travel diary of linked prose and haiku recounting his journey through the far northern provinces of Japan.
This edition features a masterful translation of this celebrated work. It also includes an insightful introduction by translator Sam Hamill detailing Bashō’s life and the art of haiku, three other important works by Bashō—Travelogue of Weather-Beaten Bones, The Knapsack Notebook, and Sarashina Travelogue—and two hundred and fifty of his finest haiku, making this the most complete single-volume collection of Bashō’s writings.
About the Author
Basho (1644–1694)—the most revered poet of Japanese literature—is best known in the West as the author of Narrow Road to the Interior, a travel diary of his journey through northern Japan. Basho elevated the haiku to an art form of utter simplicity and intense spiritual beauty. His travel diaries of linked prose and haiku created a new genre of writing that inspired generations of Japanese poets.
"One of the undisputed masterpieces of Japanese Literature. . . . Hamill achieves a kind of luminosity of language that I find unparalleled in other translations of this work."—Burton Watson, Columbia University
"Lucid and engaging, this translation, a gift of careful attention, does not separate poetry from spiritual practice. Basho becomes our guide on the way of insight. Such is the magic of a fine translation."—Margaret Gibson, Tricycle