The Essential Haiku -Buson

 

h-a-i-k-u4-18-728Coolness-
the sound of the bell
as it leaves the bell.

* * * * * * * *

White blossoms of the pear
and a woman in moonlight
reading a letter.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Coming back-
so many pathways
through the spring grass.

: : : : : : : :

Lighting one candle
with another candle-
spring evening.

* * * * * *
Autumn evening-
there’s joy also
in loneliness.

> > > > >

The short night-
on the hairy caterpillar
beads of dew.

: : : : : : :

They swallow clouds
and spit out blossoms-
the Yoshino Mountains.

< < < < < < <

Misty grasses,
quiet waters,
it’s evening.

* * * * * *

Butterfly
sleeping
on the temple bell.

: : : : : :

Remembering how
he holed up to write all summer-
how fragrant my ink smells!

>< >< >< >< >< ><

By moonlight
the blossoming plum
is a tree in winter.

_ _ _ _ _ _

Morning breeze
riffling
the caterpillar’s hair.

* * * * * * *

Lighting the lantern-
the yellow chrysanthemums
lose their colour.

> > > > > > >

Calligraphy of geese
against the sky-
the moon seals it.

< < < < < < <

My arm for a pillow,
I really like myself
under the hazy moon.

: : : : : : :

On his deathbed:

Early spring:

In the white plum blossoms
night to next day
just turning.

– Yosa Buson (1716-1783)
-Edited with verse translation by Robert Hass

 

white horse and grooms-Yosa Buson