Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Haiku: Keen and Clear

Cresent moon warped
keen and clear
(Issa, 1763-1827)

First snow - 
just enough to bend
the narcissus leaves
(Basho, 1644-1694)

On the mandarin duck's wings
a dust of snow - 
such stillness!
(Shiki, 1867-1902)

Cold moon - 
the gateless temple's 
endless sky
(Buson, 1716-1783)

Unable to wrap it
and dropping the moon
the winter rain
(Tokoku, ?-1960)

How warm -
the shadows of withered trees
stretching out their arms
(Tei-jo, 1900-1988)

There's nothing
he doesn't know -
the cat on the stove
(Fusei, 1885-1979)

The above haiku have been excerpted from a wonderful book by Stephen Addiss, Fumiko Yamamoto & Akira Yamamoto, a review of which can be read here: Review: Haiku, An Anthology of Japanese Poems

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