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Haiku: Classic Japanese Short Poems
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Haiku: Classic Japanese Short Poems

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry. Its structure has become popular in other languages and today it is probably the best know form of poetry worldwide.

There are few rules to haiku, but they are strict: 17 phonetic sounds, a sense of cutting images or ideas, and a reference to a season. From those restrictions, poets have written about many things, from the year’s
Chinese Binding, Bilingual; Reprint Edition, 96 pages
Published September 14th 2016 by Amber Books Ltd
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Average rating 4.38  · 
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Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, reviewed, poetry, 2020
The strength of serene simplicity

The oak tree
Stands unswayed
By blossoms

Such stillness -
The song of cicadas
Seeping into stone

(Matsuo Bashō)

This bilingual Japanese/English edition consist of a selection of 19 hokku/haiku from the quartet known as the four masters in the Japanese haiku tradition, Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694), Yosa Buson (1716-1784), Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) and Masoaka Shiki (1867-1902).

The English translation is juxtaposed with both the Japanese original text and a phonetic transc
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: black
I resist the urge to make this review a series of hacky haikus. I hope y'all appreciate how difficult that was for me to resist.

So, the first thing to acknowledge about this book is the fantastic binding. It's a style called Traditional Chinese, in which each page is a double sheet folded over, printed only on the outside, and the stitching is visible on the outside of the spine. It looks rather nice, and it was a pleasure to hold. I have not the historical knowledge to know if Japanese haikus w
Andrea Pole
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Haiku Illustrated by Hart Larrabee [tr] is a beautiful collection of haiku by four of Japan's most recognized and respected masters of the form. The ability to invoke such complete and detailed images in a brief seventeen syllables has always impressed upon me the beauty and accessibility of the haiku, a Japanese tradition of storytelling that has been shared for generations. The gorgeous illustrations that accompany each poem are a lovely addition to an already stunning collection. I would high ...more
thanks to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

sleeping spread-eagled
so refreshing
so lonely

beauty is sometimes found in the simplest of things and this book of haiku poems demonstrates it. the collection has some of the most famous poets from japan like matsuo basho, yosa buson, kobayashi issa and masaoka shiki. since this is a translation, the syllabus format gets lost a little, however it still has the power to transmit a strong feeling
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very great haiku book. It was great for various reason. The art was great, the way the haiku were presented was awesome, they always have one picture, and the haiku written in three way, the alphabetical Japanese, the English version and the original Japanese writing with their own «writing» not sure how to call it, but not the alphabetical one. So that was good in itself, but what was even better was the selection of haiku from, probably the most popular and talented haiku author like Basho, Bu ...more
Fiction O Phile
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Haiku, a Japanese poetry genre with ancient roots. Haiku is more than just 17 Syllables arranged 5-7-5. It is generally written on a single vertical line. Haiku often include a fragment and a phrase, the former indicated by 'kireji' (a cutting word or a dash -), such as 'ya' at the end of the firstline or 'kana' at the end of the third. Haiku mainly describes a moment in the present and include a 'season word' (Kigo). Poet amd reader are united by their shared experience of natire and the changi ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These haiku are so beautiful! I'm really glad I picked this book. The design is simply magnificent: gorgeous Japaneses style illustrations and poems in both English and Japanese (and even the kanji). This is my first time I'm reading haikus and I'm truly glad I chose this book to be the first one. Rating: 5/5 stars. ...more
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me realize again why I love haikus so much. Beautifully selected haikus with related and delightful pictures will make every reader smile. This edition will make an excellent gift who appreciate good art and haikus.
Jan 18, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 I like how diverse my reading journey is so far this year. I started making Haikus growing up because of how Japan became part of Filipino history. I like how 3 short stanzas can each tell a story, it's so interesting and imagery was used very stunningly. ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic collection of haiku and beautifully bound.
Sara (onourshelves)
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this very beautiful collection of Classic Japanese Short Poems with an ebook, and I am thinking about finding a print version I enjoyed them so much. While I enjoyed the poems by all authors, Issa's poems in particular spoke to me. ...more
Rochelle Benoit
A beautiful collection of translated haiku's. My favourite was on page 11:

Fragrant Orchid -
Perfuming the wings
Of a butterfly

There is a lot of reference to mosquitoes by the various poets. Something to note if ever planning a trip to Japan.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki – no, not scoring moves in combat sports, but four of the most famous writers of pithy little word pictures called haiku. This book gives roughly the equal attention to all four, as it pictorially presents a selection of the verses. Each time we get the Japanese, both in westernised script and in calligraphy vertically down the right of the page, as the natives would read it, and of course the plain, unformatted translation – never is the syllable structure of the haiku ...more
A good selection of four poets with some sort of illustration to accompany it. Nice that there is the original Japanese text and the English text. One poem per page so there is white space.
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing. Will be reread many times.
Annie Jolynn
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Absolutely beautiful. I love the writing and the furigana were very useful.
Mark Robison
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a good book to get as a gift for the haiku lover in your life. It's bound and printed in the printing method of old Japanese poetry books -- string literally used to bind it and pages printed folded over with writing on only one side. Wasteful but lovely. The pages themselves are beautiful with original characters on the side with subtle, more modern Japanese characters and the heart of the pages containing a single haiku in English.

As for the translations, they are almost uniformly exce
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I truly recommend this version: ISBN 9781782743873.
You have selected poems from 4 different authors: Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa, Masaoka Shiki.

The book is hard cover and has traditional binding.

Each page contains:
-- the author's name
-- the haiku in English
-- the haiku in Japanese (includes hiragana transcriptions on the kanji)
-- the haiku in Romanji (aka Latin alphabet, in case you want to see what it would sound in Japanese)

It really is a beautiful edition. You won't regret buyin
Grace Houghton
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
This was the PERFECT book to get me out of my short reading slump I’ve been going through these past three weeks. Bashō, Buson, Issa, and Shiki’s writings are so beautifully vibrant and full of life. I’m amazed at the talent it takes to pack so much into so few words. I listened to some music as I went through the poems and would highly recommend it to other readers! It was a magical experience that I will continue to revisit over and over again. Again, I loved this book so much and am looking f ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the first haiku poetry book I've read. Beautiful, evocative language. Reading it makes me feel the value of nature, silence, calm, and quiet contemplation of one's surroundings. I feel like these poems, written by four people between the 17th and early 20th century, has a sense of awareness that's sorely lacking in modern day life. ...more
Paige Belfield
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully crafted book, bound with care and with some stunning artworks to accompany many moving poems. I personally found that I resonated most with the work of Issa and Bashō, but found the work of Shiki a bit tonally subdued, though that may have been in the selection of works. Would recommend to anyone who appreciates a thoughtful haiku and traditional Japanese art.
Noah Daniels
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, diversity
This book is, by nature of its subject, a quick read. Nevertheless, the haiku within are excellent examples of the poetic form written by the classical masters. In a classroom, students could use this book as a reference regarding subject matter and style of haiku/
Maureen Hetzel
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book with Japanese art facing each page that ties to the translation of the haiku poem. The artwork ranges from line drawing to watercolors to detailed Japanese prints. A wonderful book for those interested in Japanese culture.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
Issa's haikus were my favorite, but they were all very good. ...more
Nicole Magolan
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful haikus, in an absolutely stunning collection.
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Summer sun shines down
A soft rustle in my ears
The pages turning

I cannot fault it
Nor would I see to do so
It is beautiful
April Gray
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfect coffee table book, for when you want to sit quietly and contemplate. There is a brief history of haiku at the beginning of this book, explaining how the poetry form came into being, along with a short bio of each of the four masters featured. The haiku are presented in kanji with furigana, romanized Japanese, and an English translation, allowing the reader to enjoy each poem in its original form. Each poem also has an accompanying artwork or photograph that captures the spirit of piece ...more
Dora Yang
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2020, poetry
I don't know what to say! I want to see this book in person!
I love the fact that the physical book would be published in a special way (with the traditional Chinese book bounding techniques), and I think that the layout of this book is just divine. It has both the English and the original Japanese on the pages (including furigana, which could be very helpful for learners of the Japanese language). This book has reminded me of my love for the traditional arts from Japan!
Oh, and the illustrations
Benicia Noia
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection of poems turns out to be a pleasure to read. It is wonderful how they can express so much in so few words. The illustrations are beautiful and the reading was relaxing. I loved it.
Tiyasha Chaudhury
When we read poetry, we shall never read it through one perspective. Poetry isn't accountable for one's beliefs and stagnancy of beliefs, it is not a place to worship or shred off one's ego boundaries. It is not something to please, it is something that has been living and will live to express. Humans can either express themselves through poetry or conceal themselves through the same. It works one way at times, and few times both ways. You decide your poetry. You and you solely.
— Tiyasha Chaudhu
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