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The Sound of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Other Poets
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The Sound of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Other Poets

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  180 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Here are more than two hundred of the best haiku of Japanese literature translated by one of America’s premier poet-translators. The haiku is one of the most popular and widely recognized poetic forms in the world. In just three lines a great haiku presents a crystalline moment of image, emotion, and awareness. This illustrated collection includes haiku by the great master...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published November 14th 2006 by Shambhala (first published 2000)
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I was given this book for participating in a haiku "challenge" (I was chosen randomly); and not only is the tiny book cute and elegant (Can it be both those things? Yes, I think it can.) with a few soft illustrations scattered throughout, it is a nice sampling of haiku (from my admittedly small knowledge of the genre) from the 15th century through to the 19th century.

I read it straight through, but I think it would be fun to open randomly and mediate on the one you happen to land upon. My favori...more
I meant to get Basho's The Narrow Road to the Far North out from the library, but it was a very large square library-bound book that upon opening emitted that unpleasant smell of a book that is old enough to change scent while sitting unread on the library shelf but not quite old enough for that scent to be a good one. Also, the book included colour photographs from the 1970s which are the sort that seem to physically assault the sensitive aesthetic sensibilities of those of us who have grown up...more
Ben Wood
An excellent, and appropriately succinct collection of the greats (Basho, Buson, and Issa) and some other noteworthy ones at the end. Basho's haiku are the most beautiful and delicate:

With a warbler for
a soul, it sleeps peacefully,
this mountain willow.

This dark autumn
old age settles down on me
like heavy clouds or birds

Come out to view
the truth of flowers blooming
in poverty

Chilling autumn rains
curtain Mount Fuji, then make it
more beautiful to see

With dewdrops dripping,
I wish somehow I could wash
May 11, 2009 Arlyce rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: attentive readers
Recommended to Arlyce by: Daniel
This is my favorite little haiku book. I like flipping it open randomly and seeing what it has to offer. It's far better than a horoscope.
my boyfriend got me a copy of this book. Great cover. Great poems. it gave me the impression that the japanese have it all figured out..
When I think I have forgotten peace.
Robert Beveridge
Sam Hamill (ed.), The Sound of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Other Poets (Shambhala, 1995)

Very small, very concentrated book. One hundred twenty-five pages, most with two haiku per page (some pages are simple illustrations from the period). I was unfortunately too much of an idiot to keep this with me until I wrote the review so I could quote some of the world's finest haiku at you, so all I can say is trust me on this one: there's a reason these guys are known as the masters of haiku...more

Notable to me mostly because it's not your usual Basho--ie; not the poet's most frequently anthologized pieces. These poems delve deep into aging, unrequited love, abandonment, isolation, and the complex world of man's interrelationship with nature.

Ponderous and absorbing.
It's a small size paperback book that one can carry everywhere..Yet, it includes the best Haiku poems in Japanese literature..You can pull it out anytime and read the greatest and shortest poetry pieces you've ever tasted .. Have this book and you won't regret it.
Absolutely stunning.

One of my favorites:

True obedience:
Silently the flowers speak
To the inner ear.


To learn how to die
Watch cherry blossoms, observe

Lonely silence,
A single cicada's cry
Sinking into stone (Basho)
Thomas Dolan
Awesome. What else can you say?

I did find one poem by Issa rather, vulgar, to say the least...but due to his insightful command of the form, I suppose I'll let it slide.
I loved everything about this collection of haiku. It's tiny, it has neat artwork, and it has a wide variety of poems, from the thought provoking to the ridiculous.
Mar 28, 2009 Matt rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
A convienient pocket size with a wide variety of haiku examples from many authors. Without the Japanese romansh I find it lacking a little bit however.
Kindle Embers
I'm loved this book. Read some haikus to my beloved husband. This book made me fall in love with haikus. Pure, simple, beautiful.
Nov 17, 2009 Tonya is currently reading it
A tiny book of haikus that I got interested in when I took a poetry class. Looking forward to learning more about and reading more haiku.
Tiny book of Haiku by major Haiku poets. Nice translations of familiar Haiku with beautiful ink paintings for illustrations.
ArEzO.... Es
هدف هايكو زيبايي نيست
بلكه به سادگي تمام چيزي را نشان مي دهد كه خود هميشه مي دانستيم
A great survey of haiku. Tranquil and and also hilarious.
I think I like Basho the best.
Christopher marked it as to-read
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