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Definitely worth a read.


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I've been interested in the Haiku poetic form for a few years, now, but started reading the Beats before Basho, which is a bit backwards. What made this even more enjoyable than the Haiku, itself, was Henderson's knowledge of Japanese culture and language and his passionate atte I've been interested in the Haiku poetic form for a few years, now, but started reading the Beats before Basho, which is a bit backwards. What made this even more enjoyable than the Haiku, itself, was Henderson's knowledge of Japanese culture and language and his passionate attempt to try to communicate the subtleties of Japanese Haiku to the English reader.

I really appreciated his notes and commentary, which gave the poems a dimension I probably would have missed. If you are new to Haiku, this book is a great place to start. Here is a taste: Clouds [Basho] Clouds come from time to time - and bring to men a chance to rest from looking at the moon. Winter [Basho's Pupil, Joso] Mountains and plains, all are captured by the snow - nothing remains.

Harold Henderson

Nov 21, Tra-Kay rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry. I found this to be a scholarly yet refreshingly personal presentation of haiku and its old masters. I love that Henderson gives not only all of the originals, but also direct translations of each word beneath the Japanese. While the rhyming often takes away from the haiku, in certain instances it makes them more powerful. I think his argument in the preface that rhyming adds a sense of finality was good enough to justify that choice, even though he does have to really stretch it at times.

Also, h I found this to be a scholarly yet refreshingly personal presentation of haiku and its old masters. Also, haiku contain wordplay such as alliteration and puns, and as these are largely untranslatable, some kind of poetic device as a substitute makes sense. Some of his claims annoy me, but the overall tone of the book is congenial and somehow softens the sense of him being a know-it-all: "The people?

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I can't say; even an upright scarecrow does not exist today. The standard of provoking emotion and empathy, such as feeling sad for Issa who can barely notice anyone by his grief. Most of the haiku used as examples in this book seemed like they had a word added to the end of the first or last line to complete the required rhyme. Although this book was published over 60 years ago , I still feel that the author, with all his knowledge of Japanese culture and literature, should have known better.

I'm not a fan of Henderson's haiku translations added titles, extra words, and forced rhymes. Shiki's brief haiku writing advice is worth 5 stars though.

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May 17, Steven Peterson rated it really liked it. Do you like Haiku? I sure do. I've even composed scores of mostly bad Haiku. This volume is a nice introduction to the genre. Just 3 lines and a few syllables per line.

This book begins with a narrative that lays out the nature and background of this genre of verse Japanese. But, for me, the highlight is the poetry itself. My favorite showing that I am hardly a rebel is Basho. Some of his verse: Spring sarts: New start; old rice, Five quarts. Or: The first day of the year: thoughts come--and ther Do you like Haiku? Or: The first day of the year: thoughts come--and there is loneliness; the autumn dusk is here. Or: "Hawk-eyes too will fail now that the darkness comes"-- so chirp the quail.

Other poets included are Buson, Issa, Shiki, and others as well. A nice introduction to this mode of poetry. Jan 12, Everett Darling rated it it was amazing Shelves: I found it really helpful to compare the direct word-for-word, English-Japanese translations, however ungrammatical it read. Often, the haiku made a bit more sense.

Also, having the Japanese version at hand, helped with onomatopoeic haiku, and Henderson's explanations were invaluable, as many haiku require some knowledge of Japanese history, culture, and religion. Contains many worthwhile haiku, so even if the reader lacks interest in the poets' histories, one will find a broad and well-organize I found it really helpful to compare the direct word-for-word, English-Japanese translations, however ungrammatical it read. Contains many worthwhile haiku, so even if the reader lacks interest in the poets' histories, one will find a broad and well-organized selection of haiku to thumb through.

Jan 23, Peter rated it it was amazing.

A great introduction. I had been writing some haiku for a while, just to have something to write. He made me fall in love with the form.

EgmAvJOIn8neBEKmXz09 | Haiku | Poetry

His translations of the poetry are amazing, especially those of Issa. I also enjoy how he gave background into the authors' lives and then gave examples from their poetry. You may have already requested this item. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway. WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog, helping you find library materials online. Don't have an account? Your Web browser is not enabled for JavaScript. Some features of WorldCat will not be available. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or.

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APA 6th ed. Note: Citations are based on reference standards. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study. The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied. The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry. Penguin USA, Reprint Wild Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu.

Edited by John Stevens. Shambhala, Ikkyu, Hakuin, and Ryokan.

Introduction to Haiku: An Anthology of Poems and Poets from Basho to Shiki

By John Stevens. Kodansha International, About Issa. Early Years : Step Child to Starling. Restless Years : Issa the Wanderer. Excellent biograpical information, translations and commentary by David G. Issa Websites. By Lewis Mackenzie. Tokyo, Kodansha International, , Reissued in Information and excerpts.. Edited by Matthew Gollub, illustrated by Kazuko G. Stone and Keiko Smith. Lee and Low Books, A children's book. The Dumpling Field: Haiku of Issa. Translated by Lucien Stryk and Noboru Fujiwara. Swallow Press, Haiku Classics by the Masters.

Very good translations by David Lanoue. Excellent biographical information about Issa provided by Mr. The very best English language website on Kobayashi Issa!! Issa's Biography and Selected Haiku. Translated by David G. Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, Kobayashi Tataro [Issa]. Illustrated by Kaji Aso. Miniature edition. By Issa Kobayashi. The Study of Issa in Modern Times. By Yoshi Mikami. In English and Japanese.


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Good links to Japanese language haiku sites. That Loveable Old Issa. By Earle J. Masaoka Shiki: His Life and Works.