Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday Thirteen - The Haiku of Matsuo Bashō

Thanks to my friend Pack Rat, I was recently reintroduced to the works of BashōHere are thirteen translations from "The Sound of Water":

This bright harvest moon
keeps me walking all night long
around the little pond


But for a woodpecker
tapping at a post, no sound
at all in the house


A lovely spring night
suddenly vanished while we
viewed cherry blossoms


Singing, planting rice,
village songs more lovely
than famous city poems


Come out to view
the truth of flowers blooming
in poverty


Autumn approaches
and the heart begins to dream
of four-tatami rooms


On Budha's birthday
a spotted fawn is born -
just like that


Winter showers,
even the monkey searches
for a raincoat


The morning glories
bloom, securing the gate
in the old fence


That great blue oak
indifferent to all blossoms
appears more noble


With plum blossoms scent,
this sudden sun emerges
along a mountain trail


Clouds of cherry blossoms!
Is that temple bell in Ueno
or Asakusa?


Ungraciously, under
a great soldier's empty helmet,
a cricket sings


  1. I've always loved poetry, even though I've never really attempted to write it myself. As has already been said, these are lovely.

  2. Love the first one, and the one about Autumn. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh, Basho is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing!

  4. How lovely and contemplative these are.

  5. They are simple, but nice to read.

  6. Wow. I love this line:

    "village songs more lovely/
    than famous city poems"

    What a potent line! I like the sense of calm stillness that these haiku demonstrate. It's amazing to me that so few lines of poetry can capture a mood so effectively.

    Thank you for sharing these!


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