Janine Ibbotson

Zen Enso Circle Art and Practice Blog

Blog about the art and practice of drawing the Zen Enso Circle.

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Refreshing Pond

©Janine Ibbotson, "Homecoming," watercolor and ink on rice paper with Well Frog seal and digital frame, 2019.

©Janine Ibbotson, "Homecoming," watercolor and ink on rice paper with Well Frog seal and digital frame, 2019.

Old pond,
and a frog dives in -
“Splash”!
— Basho (1644 - 1694)

Recently I have been rediscovering the joy of poetry. The poet Basho wrote the famous haiku poem above about a frog jumping into a pond.

Some say that this poem was a significant work, a sign that he had come into maturity in his writing.

Last year, I discovered that there are entire books inspired by his poem. One is called One Hundred Frogs by Hiriaki Sato and besides other things, it has a hundred versions of Basho’s poem written by famous poets and writers.

On a relaxing afternoon this summer, after painting, I took a try at writing my own versions of this poem. I wrote maybe 20 verses then narrowed them down to my favorites. I ran them by a friend who is a poet and he suggested combining two of them. The final version is below.

Frog returns
To her original home.
How refreshing,
This old pond!
— Janine Ibbotson