Notes On Attention Paid

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02 Buson Poetry:

… a poem cycle, about a beautiful young woman traveling home we are told… the willow tree is mentioned as it was yesterday… i am wondering about symbology of the willow tree…

… in Japanese myth and folklore, the willow is associated with ghosts1

… i look up river symbology in Japan, there is one article that talks about rivers representing the flow of life, which is so in many cultures… however, more generally water is significant in Japanese philosophy as one of the five elements of Godai…

水 Sui or mizu, meaning “Water”, represents the fluid, flowing, and the formless things in the world. Outside of the obvious example of rivers and the lake, plants are also categorized under sui, as they adapt to their environment, growing and changing according to the direction of the sun and the changing seasons. Blood and other bodily fluids are represented by sui, as are mental or emotional tendencies towards adaptation and change. Sui can be associated with thought, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism.2

… i return to yesterday’s poem and realize the broad symbology of water is important, along with the willow tree… a woman seeks to keep the poet to her, asks him not to journey on with the flow of the river, but he views her as the one journeying on while he remains as the ghost by the river that cannot follow… it’s a poem about death?…

… today’s poem talks about a young woman journeying through her life to return home to the brother and white haired mother she left to be on her own… again, the flow of life, the journey metaphorical… life’s journey…