Pine Tree, i

Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine, or to the bamboo if you want to learn about the bamboo. And in doing so, you must leave your subjective preoccupation with yourself. Otherwise you impose yourself on the object and do not learn. Your poetry issues of its own accord when you and the object have become one – when you have plunged deep enough into the object to see something like a hidden glimmering there. However well-phrased your poetry may be, if your feeling is not natural – if the object and yourself are separate – then your poetry is not true poetry but merely your subjective counterfeit.

Go to the object. Leave your subjective preoccupation with yourself. Do not impose yourself on the object. Become one with the object. Plunge deep enough into the object to see something like a hidden glimmering there. Your feeling is not natural when the object and yourself are separate. You must become one with the object in order for your poetry to be true.

No matter where your interest lies, you will not be able to accomplish anything unless you bring your deepest devotion to it.

–Matsuo Basho

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