|Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (LC-DIG-jpd-01518)|
Dating back to 17th century Japan, the form was originally restricted to an objective observation of nature. But the haiku master Basho took it to a new level as he traveled across Japan writing about his experiences. He brought haiku to the people, helping establish it as the most popular form of poetry in Japan.
Here is one of his earliest:
On a withered branch
A crow has alighted;
Nightfall in autumn.
Even for such short poems, the issue of translation into a different language seems to complicate things. Here are three translations of the same haiku:
Moonlight slants through
The vast bamboo grove:
A cuckoo cries
From moon wreathed
through all this long bamboo grove
and nightingale song.
It's interesting that the translators don't necessarily stick to the 5-7-5 format. Maybe that's a translator's prerogative.
Goodbye for now! See you tomorrow, I hope!
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April is the month.