Notes On Attention Paid

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02 Buson

… Buson continues to be a very down to earth poet… one about a snail with unequal horn length, wondering what is on its mind… another about a frog swimming awkwardly which resonates with a song i learned in grade school, (middle school?)… i google it, there is a wikipedia entry on it which gives me the complete lyrics…

 What a queer bird, the frog are

When he sit he stand (almost)

When he walk he fly (almost)

When he talk he cry (almost)

He ain’t got no sense, hardly

He ain’t got no tail, neither, hardly

He sit on what he ain’t got hardly

… i learn the song was first published in 1922 and attributed to “a young Norwegian living in Chicago at the time…

… a fun song… stuck in my mind (mostly) all these years… Buson brought it back to me…

… thinking about Buson and Basho, it seems to me that Basho was often looking for the transcendent metaphor, the one about plowing a field and a stranger asking for directions then disappearing being a prime example… an immediate literal interpretation, a second metaphorical one… Buson seems to be more concerned with moments in and of them selves and for themselves… in a way, this is transcendent too, because being purely in the present moment is that… right here, right now, that is what matters… very Buddhist…