“Longing for the Divine” by Matsuo Bashō

In 1688, during one of his many journeys throughout Japan, Bashō came to Mount Yamato Katsuragi. Near the Shinto shrine for the local god, Hitokotonushi, the poet composed this haiku.

still, what joy I’d feel
to find the god’s face amid
all these morning blooms

—translated by David Bowles, April 5, 2021

Original Japanese

猶みたし 花に明行 神の顔

nao mitashi
hana ni ake yuku
kami no kao

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