Learn about a pine tree from a pine tree, and about a bamboo stalk from a bamboo stalk.
Attributed, quoted in On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho (translated by Lucien Stryk), introduction.
My body, now close to fifty years of age, has become an old tree that bears bitter peaches, a snail which has lost its shell, a bagworm separated from its bag; it drifts with the winds and clouds that know no destination. Morning and night I have eaten traveler's fare, and have held out for alms a pilgrim's wallet.Matsuo Basho
An old pond A frog jumps in The sound of waterMatsuo Basho
Year by year, the monkey's mask reveals the monkeyMatsuo Basho
Year's end still in straw hat and sandalsMatsuo Basho
Orchidbreathing incense into butterfly's wingsMatsuo Basho
Friends part forever wild geese lost in cloudMatsuo Basho
[E]very day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.Matsuo Basho
Spring is passing by! Birds are weeping and the eyes Of fish fill with tears.Matsuo Basho
The passing of spring The birds weep and in the eyes Of fish there are tears.Matsuo Basho
The summer grasses Of brave soldiers' dreams The aftermath.Matsuo Basho
Bird of time – in Kyoto, pining for Kyoto.Matsuo Basho
At the ancient pond the frog plunges into the sound of waterMatsuo Basho
Old pond, leap-splash – a frog.Matsuo Basho
Sick on a journey – over parched fields dreams wander on.Matsuo Basho
Travelling, sick My dreams roam On a withered moor.Matsuo Basho
The fact that Saigyo composed a poem that begins, "I shall be unhappy without loneliness," shows that he made loneliness his master.Matsuo Basho
The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good. Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of.Matsuo Basho
He who creates three to five haiku poems during a lifetime is a haiku poet. He who attains to completes ten is a master.Matsuo Basho
Breaking the silence Of an ancient pond, A frog jumped into water – A deep resonance.Matsuo Basho
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