John Cage’s Mushroom Haiku . . . Mesosticized

by Stefano Pocci

                    BasHō once

                 wrote A poem:

            “Matsutake Ia

               shiranu Ko no ha no





                     liKe this:

     “The leaf of some Unknown tree is

    sticking on the musHroom”.

                  The jApanese composer

                  TakemItsu rephrased it as

    “Mushroom does not Know that leaf is sticking on it”.




                    decIded to

                     maKe his own versions

       spiced with his Unmistakable


                    “ThAt that’s unknown

                     brIngs mushroom and leaf together.”

              But he liKed this one above all:

     “What leaf? What mUshroom?”

From Stefano Pocci’s “John Cage in Italia” website, posted to the site’s blog on 20 February 2014. You can listen to a 1972 recording of John Cage describing Bashō’s haiku about mushrooms that led to the versions referred to in Stefano Pocci’s mesostic poem. Also note that the reference to “Blythe” should be “Blyth.”       +