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Haiku Corner

The Haiku Masters of Japan drop in for a visit [by David Lehman]

Hass HaikuThanks to Bob Hass, I'm
reading the haiku masters
of Japan -- Basho,

Buson and Issa --
in one essential book: The
Essential Haiku,

published by Ecco,
with smart intro and useful
notes by Mr. Hass.

Examples follow.
(Translators do not observe
strict syllabic count).

Here is Basho as
rendered by B. Watson in
fifteen syllables:

"It's not like anything
they compare it to --
the summer moon."

And now for Buson,
trans. by Yuki Sawa and
Edith M. Shiffert:

"I go,
you stay;
two autumns."

Issa, the last of
the three, wrote the following
(trans. Robert Huey):

"Children imitating cormorants
are even more wonderful
than cormorants."

This post went up ten
years back and ended with my

New York translation
of Basho’s justly famous
haiku of the frog:


-- DL

October 08, 2021

September 14, 2021

September 09, 2021

September 07, 2021

September 06, 2021

June 21, 2021

January 29, 2021

January 22, 2021

January 18, 2021

January 11, 2021

October 13, 2020

October 08, 2014

September 19, 2014

August 19, 2014

August 16, 2014

June 24, 2014

July 15, 2013

December 13, 2011

August 28, 2011

August 18, 2011

Best American Poetry Web ad3
click image to order your copy
"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

Click image to order


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