Classics  
Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉) was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku. His poetry is ... Read more
Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉) was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku. His poetry is ... Read more

O Matsushima!
O Matsushima!
O Matsushima!

The dragonfly
can't quite land
    on that blade of grass.

A cicada shell;
it sang itself
    utterly away.

The pine tree of Shiogoshi
Trickles all night long
Shiny drops of moonlight.

When the winter chrysanthemums go,
there's nothing to write about
    but radishes.

How admirable!
to see lightning and not think
    life is fleeting.

Wrapping the rice cakes,
with one hand
    she fingers back her hair.

Autumn moonlight--
  a worm digs silently
    into the chestnut.

A monk sips morning tea,
it's quiet,
    the chrysanthemum's flowering.

A caterpillar,
this deep in fall--
    still not a butterfly.

A bee
staggers out
    of the peony.

Teeth sensitive to the sand
in salad greens--
    I'm getting old.

Nothing in the cry
of cicadas suggests they
are about to die

This old village--
not a single house
    without persimmon trees.

Spring rain
leaking through the roof
    dripping from the wasps' nest.

Oh bush warblers!
Now you've shit all over
my rice cake on the porch

At a hermitage:

    A cool fall night--
getting dinner, we peeled
    eggplants, cucumbers.

The squid seller's call
mingles with the voice
    of the cuckoo.

Atop the mushroom
who knows from where
a leaf!

Moonlight slanting
through the bamboo grove;
    a cuckoo crying.

 
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