This Autumn Evening     2009

     for SATB a capela choir

No one travels

Along this way but I,

This autumn evening.

              - Matsuo Basho


Matsuo Basho was a haiku poet who was renowned during his lifetime for his simplicity of verse and the emotional pathos he could convey in so few words.  When one first reads the following haiku - “No one travels/Along this way but I” - it might seem as if the poet was anxious about being alone.  During Basho’s lifetime (1644-1694) it was considered dangerous and even suicidal for one to be traveling.  Yet the last line - “This autumn evening” - not “This cold, dark night approaching winter” seems to convey the sense of serenity, peace, and contentment that Basho found on his travels.  One man’s suicide is another man’s life.  One man’s loneliness is another’s best friend.


Excerpt performed by the University Choir at the University of Michigan, under the direction of Dr. Paul Rardin.

For sheet music, please contact me .