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The Spring of My Life: And Selected Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Don't worry, spiders,
I keep house
casually.
Napping at midday
I hear the song of rice planters
and feel ashamed of myself.
The man pulling radishes
pointed my way
with a radish.
******* in the snow
outside my door--
it makes a very straight hole.
Writing **** about new snow
for the rich
is not art.
What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.
The pheasant cries
as if it just noticed
the mountain.
In spring rain
a pretty girl
    yawning.
A cuckoo sings
to me, to the mountain,
    to me, to the mountain.
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That wren
That wren--
looking here, looking there.
You lose something?
Summer night--
even the stars
are whispering to each other.
In this world
we walk on the roof of hell,
gazing at flowers.
All the time I pray to Buddha
I keep on
killing mosquitoes.
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The crow
The crow
walks along there
as if it were tilling the field.
His death poem:

        A bath when you're born,
        a bath when you die,
        how stupid.
New Year's morning:
the ducks on the pond
quack and quack.
Napped half the day;
no one
punished me!
This moth saw brightness
in a woman's chamber--
burnt to a crisp.
The moon tonight--
I even miss
her grumbling.
Children imitating cormorants
are even more wonderful
than cormorants.
Face of the spring moon--
about twelve years old,
I'd say.
With my father
I would watch dawn
over green fields.
That pretty girl--
munching and rustling
the wrapped-up rice cake.
The toad! It looks like
it could belch
a cloud.
A huge frog and I,
staring at each other,
neither of us moves.
Having slept, the cat gets up,
yawns, goes out
to make love.
These sea slugs,
they just don't seem
Japanese.
Blossoms at night,
and the faces of people
moved by music.
Not knowing
it's a tub they're in
the fish cooling at the gate.
The snow is melting
and the village is flooded
with children.
Approaching my village:

        Don't know about the people,
        but all the scarecrows
        are crooked.
Asked how old he was,
the boy in the new kimono
stretched out all five fingers.
Hey, sparrow!
out of the way,
    Horse is coming.
Even with insects--
some can sing,
some can't.
Under my house
an inchworm
measuring the joists.
Ducks bobbing on the water--
are they also, tonight,
hoping to get lucky?
No doubt about it,
the mountain cuckoo
is a crybaby.
New Year's Day--
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.
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Windy fall
At my daughter's grave, thirty days
after her death:

        Windy fall--
        these are the scarlet flowers
        she liked to pick.
It once happened
that a child was spared punishment
through earnest solicitation.
Even on the smallest islands,
they are tilling the fields,
skylarks singing.
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Seen
Seen
through a telescope:
ten cents worth of fog.
Not very anxious
to bloom,
my plum tree.
Last time, I think,
I'll brush the flies
from my father's face.
Visiting the graves,
the old dog
leads the way.
I'm going out,
flies, so relax,
make love.
Under the image of Buddha
all these spring flowers
seem a little tiresome.
In these latter-day,
Degenerate times,
   Cherry-blossoms everywhere!
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How much
How much
are you enjoying yourself,
tiger moth?
In the thicket's shade
a woman by herself
singing the rice-planting song.

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