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 beautifully 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.
There are few rules to haiku, but they are strict: 17 phonetic sounds, a sense of cutting images or ideas, and a reference to a season. From those restrictions, poets have written about many things, from the year's first blossom to aging, from mosquitoes humming to insects singing, from catching one's shadow to crossing a stream in the summer. Haiku features 90 classic poems from four poets: Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa and Masaoka Shiki which range across more than 200 years of Japanese poetry. In Haiku, each poem is presented in Japanese script, along with romanized Japanese (romaji) and an English translation. Beautifully produced in traditional Chinese binding and 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.