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Cover for The Basho Variations

The Basho Variations

Steve McCaffery


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The Basho Variations gathers thirty-four translations of Basho's famous haiku. In doing so it enters an august (albeit scanty) lineage of maverick redactions of this poem that include (as inaugural) the "frog pond plop" by Dom Sylvester Hudard and the "fog prondl pop" by Gerry Gilbert. Inspired by Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style, it also joins the company of his earlier "Restricted Translation with Imperfect Level Shift (After Basho)" as well as the Frogments from the Frag Pool: Haiku after Basho by fellow ludicians de langage Gary Barwin and Derek Beaulieu; Beaulieu?s solo ((plop)) and Basho's Frogger (a Zen video game) created by the Prize Budget for Boys.

Book*hug Press, 9780978158774, 50pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2007

About the Author

Steve McCaffery, poet, critic, editor, performance artist, member of the Four Horsemen sound poetry ensemble and a professor of English at York University, is the author of over a dozen influential books of poetry, twenty chapbooks and four volumes of critical writing. His works include CARNIVAL panels 1 and 2, Panopticon, The Black Debt, North of Intention and Rational Geomancy: Kids of the Book-Machine (with bpNichol). With Jed Rasula, McCaffery edited Imagining Language, an anthology for MIT Press.