Matsuo Basho

(1644 - 1694 / Iga Province / Japan)

A Bee - Poem by Matsuo Basho

A bee
staggers out
of the peony.

Translated by Robert Hass

Comments about A Bee by Matsuo Basho

  • (6/30/2018 5:48:00 PM)

    Drunken, by it's creation.

    Awakened, to it's demise.

    One see's, blind!
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/22/2016 7:26:00 PM)

    (A Bee - Poem by Matsuo Basho.) **An entertaining verse. (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (10/10/2016 12:21:00 PM)

    '' botan Shibe fukaku wazekeizuru hachi no Nagori kana '' - [Basho's hokku]
    '' From the bottom of the pistil / the peony, the bee moves away / grudgingly ''

    In this hokku on parting (separation) , the bee represents Basho and the peony the host (Master Toyo) .
    The bee leaves the flower with great reluctance, thus expressing the deep gratitude of the visitor.
    This form of symbolism or simple allegory was a standard for the poets of that time, as it was for the entire poetic tradition.
    (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (6/9/2016 2:07:00 PM)

    it has been proposed by some critics that, by saying '' a bee staggers out the peony '', Basho is maybe '' attributing [sort of] human emotion to the bee ''.. Or maybe '' he is entering into the authentic experience of 'beeness' '' :)
    I'm not in Basho's mind, but -as others have pointed out- a more proper question would be: '' Is the bee inside his mind or outside ''? :)
    (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (6/9/2016 1:50:00 PM)

    another translation:

    '' how reluctantly / the bee emerges from deep / within the peony ''
    (Report) Reply

  • Corey  Stewart (12/22/2015 10:38:00 PM)

    Neglectful of our betters While we are rushing. Our doom awaits regardless. (Report) Reply

  • (11/19/2015 9:16:00 PM)

    I just like it (Report) Reply

  • Seema Jayaraman (10/2/2015 12:07:00 PM)

    awesome...the bee drunk with nectar from the peony.. spelt so simply (Report) Reply

  • Charlie Selte (9/15/2015 4:04:00 PM)

    The lesson? Jus bee urself: ^) (Report) Reply

  • (8/17/2010 9:18:00 PM)

    I think this is cute. (Report) Reply

  • (9/15/2006 11:27:00 AM)

    I usually
    STAGGER out
    of a Basho poem
    (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »

# 326 poem on top 500 Poems

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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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