Sunday 22 October 2017

The haiku is a Japanese verse form, invented in the 1600s and brought to its present refinement by the great Basho who flourished a century or so later. Like all Japanese art, it depends on economy, suggestion and evocation. It is immensely popular all over the world and there are innumerable societies devoted to the composition of haikus everywhere. Buson was Basho's successor.

Four haikus

by Buson (1715 - 1783) Translated by Lucien Stryk and Gakashi Ikemoto.

A sudden chill --

in our room my dead wife's

comb, underfoot.

Short nap --

waking,

spring was gone.Dewy morn --

these saucepans

are beautiful.

My village --

dragonflies,

worn white walls.

Irish Independent

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