Kobayashi Issa

This weekend, I read a book of Issa’s haiku. His poems are full of humor and melancholy; apparently he had an incredibly tragic life. He does more with a few words than some people (me) do with whole pages. Here are some favorites:

This world of dew
is only a world of dew –
and yet…

*

Just to say the word
home, that one word alone,
so pleasantly cool

*

As the great old trees
are marked for felling, the birds
build their new spring nests

*

The snail gets up
And goes to bed
With very little fuss

*

In my old home
which I forsook, the cherries
are in bloom.

*

For you too, my fleas,
the night passes so slowly.
But you won’t be lonely.

*

A world of trials,
and if the cherry blossoms,
it simply blossoms

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