A NEW ground-breaking exhibition at the Wordsworth Trust bridges two literary worlds.

Running at the Wordsworth Museum, alongside Wordsworth’s former family home, Dove Cottage in Grasmere, until November 2, Basho and Wordsworth: Walking Poets combines the works of two of literature’s most celebrated lovers of walking and the outdoors.

Matsuo Basho is as famous in Japan as Wordsworth or Shakespeare is in Britain. And although Basho lived more than a century before Wordsworth, the two poets both pioneered the use of everyday language in poetry. Each found creative inspiration in nature, and for both, the act of walking itself was a creative process.

Basho, probably the most famous poet to have come out of Japan, was a master of haiku and a prodigious walker, writing predominantly about wildlife and landscapes. In his day he shocked the establishment by using colloquialisms and common expressions, rather than more formal language, traditionally used in poetry at the time.

His work often took the form of beautiful scrolls, some of them beautifully illustrated and examples are on display in the exhibition alongside Dorothy and William Wordsworth’s original manuscripts and notebooks.

The exhibition also features new works by 18 contemporary artists, musicians and poets working in a wide range of media, responding to the manuscripts and what originally inspired them in ways that are as fresh, creative and radical now, as Wordsworth and Bashō were during their lives.

The new works have been created in a spirit of collaboration, just as Wordsworth collaborated with his sister and fellow poets such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge - and just as Bashō collaborated with other Haiku masters.

Inge Panneels has worked with Minako Shirakura, Manny Ling and Christine Flint-Sato have created some joint work as have Ewan Clayton and Nao Sakamoto.

For further information telephone 015394-35544.