Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Read the following poem by Basho:

It is deep autumn
My neighbor
How does he live, I wonder.

What is most likely the meaning of this poem?

a. The narrator worries about how his neighbor is going to make it through the cold nights
b. The narrator is approaching death and is now beginning to concern himself with the welfare of those around him
c. The narrator has just realized he knows nothing about his neighbor's life
d. The narrator cannot understand how the neighbor is still alive.

Scroll down for the answer.

Since this is a poem, a short one at that, we must look for clues to see if there is more to this than meets the eye.  The only clue we are given is that it is autumn.  Autumn is an archetype that means approaching old age and death.  With this in mind, the correct answer is b.

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