Haiku : Classic Japanese Short Poems

4.36 (215 ratings by Goodreads)
Translated with commentary by 
4.36 (215 ratings by Goodreads)
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Haiku - seventeen-syllable poems that evoke worlds despite their brevity - have captivated Japanese readers since the seventeenth century. Today the form is practiced worldwide and has become established as part of our common global heritage. This beautiful traditionally hand-bound volume presents new English translations of classic poems by the four great masters of Japanese haiku - Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa, and Masaoka Shiki - accompanied by both the original Japanese and a phonetic transcription. With a timeless design, Haiku is an expert introduction and celebration of one of the most beautiful and accessible forms of poetry in the world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 96 pages
  • 196 x 265 x 22mm | 814g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Bilingual edition
  • Bilingual, Reprint
  • 1 artwork; 1 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1782743871
  • 9781782743873
  • 51,517

Table of contents


The cut end of
After darkness falls
A crow at rest
The crane's legs
Mist and Drizzle
Fragrant orchid
The oak tree
An old pond
Water jar cracks
Winter sun
These fireflies
Such stillness
In this bleak rain
Beneath the tree
Of its approaching death
Those who see lightning
Even loathsome crows
Early autumn
A whiff of plum blossoms
Rainy season
A cool wall
This road
Taken ill while travelling


Such joy in crossing
The spring sea
Camphor roots
An old well
A spring shower
Fuji alone
Under the mosquito net
A short summer night
Late for the ferry
Falling into the gloom
In the old pond
A thunderbolt and
A swing of the axe
In the quiet lull
Spring rains
The keen chill
Mustard blossoms
Such joy in watching
All along these ancient roads
The one I yearn to meet
Falling blossoms
Gentle spring rain
All that remains


Spilling from the sleeves
Diminished with age
Three coins
Mountain temple
Snowfall outside
No breeze but from
Spring arrives
The winter fly I spared Is this, then
So composed
Sleeping spread-eagled
Melting snows
Scrawny frogs
The hum of mosquitoes
Passing through
Spiders in the corners
Gathering chestnuts
No one to scold
My home village
No sleep for me


A pruned branch
So desperately
Cooling moon
Come back alive
Swept up by the wind
The train passes
After killing a spider
At the public bath
In the next room, too
House-bound in winter
A summer insect
Settled on
The old garden
Over the rails
Knife by the bed
Song of the cicada
A coffin on the
On every island
Snapped in a
I untied the wrapping cloth
A painting of snow
Having painted a peony
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About Hart Larrabee

Hart Larrabee is an American translator who lives with his family in the little town of Obuse in northern Nagano, Japan, right in the heart of Issa country. His translations of short stories by Fumio Takano and Mitsuyo Kakuta have appeared, respectively, in the anthologies Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction and The Book of Tokyo: A City in Short Fiction. He also translates non-fiction, particularly in the fields of art, design, and architecture.
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Rating details

215 ratings
4.36 out of 5 stars
5 53% (113)
4 34% (73)
3 11% (24)
2 2% (4)
1 0% (1)
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