Step into a series of dazzling, funny, melancholy, and joyous moments with this collection of haiku masterworks. Beloved translator Peter Beilenson’s goals were twofold: to craft a book of haiku accessible to anyone, and to render his best guess at what the poets would have written in English. His translations preserve the sublime spirit of each verse, conjuring vivid visual and emotional imagery in spare words.
Haiku icon Basho is represented amply here, as are imagery-virtuoso Buson and wry, warm, painfully human Issa. The verses of Shiki, Joso, Kyorai, Kikaku, Chora, Gyodai, Kakei, Izen, and others also appear, illuminated by lovely woodblock prints. From the peaceful (Moonlight nightingale/Casts a whistling line of sound/Over the millpond –Basho) to the lively (Sudden radiance…/After October rainstorm/Re-reddened peppers –Buson) to the downright absurd (Ah sacred swallow…/Twittering from your nest in/Great Buddha’s nostril –Issa), this collection will stir your senses and your heart.