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Essential Haiku Volume 20 Paperback – Aug 15 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (Aug. 15 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880013516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880013512
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.3 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #231,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
I always find myself returning to this lovely collection
of haiku by Basho, Buson and Issa.
The translations capture both the distinctive styles of
the masters as well as the oft-mentioned "aha moment".
I have only to turn a few pages to feel inspiration,
motivation, exaltation and profound gratitude for these
brief jewels. How they transcend time and place!
Hass helpfully provides a wonderful introduction and
notes for these exquisitely crafted haiku. A recommended
book for the novice and advanced reader/writer/lover
of haiku.
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Format: Paperback
This book features versions of about one hundred poems by each of three masters in haiku tradition, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), Yosa Buson (1716-1783), and Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827). The introduction tells us that according to Japanese literary criticism, these three men represent three types of the poet. Basho is seen as the ascetic and seeker, Buson the artist, and Issa the humanist. The differences in each poet's style can be seen at a glance. This book contains interesting short biographies of each of the men as well as some of their prose and notes on the poems. There are a few interesting black and white illustrations throughout the book including some by Yosa Buson himself. The introduction by Robert Hass is a superb introduction to haiku itself.
These beautiful three line poems, located in Nature with their implied Buddhist reflection are each a meditation, a centering, and a crystalline moment of realization. Reading them has a way of bringing about calm and peace within the reader. The symbolism of the seasons and the Japanese habit of mind blend together in these poems to create an alchemy of reflection that is unsurpassed in literature. The exquisite skill of these three masters make their subject matter seem completely organic, without artifice. Each poem contains a unique "Ah!" experience because they pierce directly to the soul, activating the human capacity for seeing with a still mind and an observing heart.
If you are new to haiku this is a wonderful compendium of the best of the genre. If you are already a lover of haiku this book is a delightfully compact, essential package, a real treasure you are sure to enjoy again and again.
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By bil on April 7 2003
Format: Paperback
The most excellent collection of haiku... how could it not be. I was overwhelmed by the simplicity of observations of these 3 great masters. My favorite being Buson... not sure why, but I seemed to relate more to his way of expressing, his choice of words, his life and personality.
Writing haiku becomes more meaningful and natural after bathing myself in this collection. The biographies helped me to understand the point of view of the writers in some cases. The additional info in the back helped me to understand the word choices, translation, and the art of haiku.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book four or maybe five years ago and it has never left me since. It's on my bedside table. Wherever and whenever I travel, this book accompanies me. Every time I read any of the haiku, I find something new - not as yet discovered - uplifting - in each.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a collection of haiku by three great Japanese masters- Basho, Buson and Issa who all lived between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries.
The book is divided into four sections, one on each master, followed by a section containing Basho's thoughts on haiku in general. Each of the first three sections starts with a brief but good introduction to the master followed by the translations of his haiku. Each section concludes with other pieces of writing (prose and haiku) by the poet. This helps to give a picture of the person behind the poem and some idea of the life and times that the poet lived in. Not being familiar with life in Japan from a few centuries ago, I found this very helpful in getting a better understanding of the context in which the poems are set.
There are notes at the back which explain some of the nuances and anything significant one has to know about certain Haiku. It helps to keep this in mind when reading the haiku. The fourth section in the book "Basho on Poetry" is a joy to read, and captures the spirit of Haiku. Each sentence here is worth preserving! There is also a list of books for further reading which I found useful.
Overall, this book is a good addition to the library, whether one is interested in writing Haiku or not.
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