“Lightning” by Matsuo Bashō

Japanese poet Bashō composed the following haiku in the fall of 1694, just months before his death. A jag of lightning— Then, flitting toward the darkness, A night heron’s scream. —Translated by David Bowles, July 2013 Original Japanese inazuma ya yami no kata yuku goi no koe  

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“This Road” by Matsuo Bashō

Japanese poet Bashō composed the following haiku during the fall of 1694, not long before his death. Alone on this road, Not a single passerby— Autumn night descends. —Translated by David Bowles, July 2013 Original Japanese kono michi ya yuku hito nashi ni aki no kure  

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“Summer Grass” by Matsuo Bashō

The following haiku is from Bashō’s famous haibun (blended prose-verse travelogue) Narrow Road to the Deep North, which describes his 1689 journey into the less populated wilderness of northern Japan in search of famous utamakaru or sites that inspired great poetry. At one point he visits the ruins of the…

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“Stillness” by Matsuo Bashō

The following haiku is from Bashō’s famous haibun (blended prose-verse travelogue) Narrow Road to the Deep North, which describes his 1689 journey into the less populated wilderness of northern Japan in search of famous utamakaru or sites that inspired great poetry. At one point he visits a mountain temple high…

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