While a student planted the tree from which he took his name, Bashō
asked himself, "How
am I doing?
no one responds." Walking
Japan's backroads, Bashō liked to
engage his forerunners in "conversations
between a 'ghost and
to be.'" Was
he wondering if
his poems would weather the moon's deathless gaze?
Bashō's wake, generations of poets would see— "the glow of the song as vividly as
if they were
running along great lighted pathways."