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Best Famous Haiku Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Haiku poems. This is a select list of the best famous Haiku poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Haiku poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of haiku poems.

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by Emanuel Xavier |

A SIMPLE POEM

 I want you to continue writing
because I will not always be around

With lips that will never touch mine
read your poems out loud
so that the words are left engraved 
on the wall
make me feel your voice rush through me
like a breeze from Oyá

I want to hear about Puerto Rico
about sisters with names like La Bruja
about educating youth about AIDS
I want to hear about life 
in the Boogie Down Bronx
surviving on the Down Low
don't leave out stories about men
you have loved and still love

I want you to write poems that you 
will never read
press hard on the paper 
so that the ink runs deep
hold the pen tight 
so that you control the details
prove to me that I inspire you
reveal yourself between the lines
hear my praise 
with each flicker of the candle
Write a poem for me

Do not choose a fresh page 
from a brand new journal
use paper that has been crumbled and tossed
thrown out by a spineless father 
only to be recycled
Save a tree for future poets to write under

Rewrite me into someone more attractive
stronger than life has made me
make me tough and sexy, 
aggressive like a tiger
stain the pages with cum, 
lube, the arousal you find
at the sight of naked boys, draw me sketches
bring the words to life with images
make me a man with this poem

Read it in front of the audience
with hidden messages just for me
be real and tell me why
I am only worth a haiku

Your epics are meant for others
I already know,
use red ink to match the blood 
from these wounds
with brutal honesty
let me die with your last sentence

Then resurrect me with rhyme
read from your gut
let me hear the wisdom of mi abuelo 
in your voice
let me find my father in you
remind me of all the men 
that left me broken promises

In your eyes I want to see a poem
when you bring me to tears
with painful memories
buried beneath your thick skin

Between teeth gapped like divas,
I want to hear quotes from books
I never read

Make me believe you want to be a poet

Make my heart break,
tell me why you could never love me
with just a few words
leave me lost and insecure
feel the admiration of others
bask in their desire
forget that I am there

Pound your fists in the air with passion
go off about politics, poverty, 
machismo and hate
scream poems that don't give a fuck
about traditions, slamming or scores
save your whispers 
for those who make love to you

Write a poem for me 
that makes me want to puff a joint

A poem that loses control
unafraid to be vulnerable
for once just make me believe
it is all worth letting go
when the smoke clears
I will understand
the reason 
I am just another face 
in the crowd

I want you to continue writing
because I will not always be around


by Barry Tebb |

LETTER TO MICHAEL HOROVITZ

 It is time after thirty years

We had our Poetry Renaissance

Rise, Children of Albion, rise!

It is time after nightmares of sleep

When we walked the streets of inner cities

Our poems among the burnt-out houses

And cars, whispering compassion

To the addicts shaking and the homeless

Waking and those who have come apart

In the nowhere of today

Begging in stations

Sleeping in boxes.
It is time to find Our lost, those children I taught three decades ago To paint on ceilings With sticks of incense Rainbows of silence For John Cage To write on walls In luminous paint Pink haiku For Allen Ginsberg.
It is time to awaken and emblazon the sky With symphonies of sorrow, To draft the articles of war.
Poets of the Underground The doors have opened The ghost of Walt Whitman Grey-bearded, in lonely anguish Walks with us.


by Barry Tebb |

MY PERFECT ROSE

 At ten she came to me, three years ago,

There was ‘something between us’ even then;

Watching her write like Eliot every day,

Turn prose into haiku in ten minutes flat,

Write a poem in Greek three weeks from learning the alphabet;

Then translate it as ‘Sun on a tomb, gold place, small sacred horse’.
I never got over having her in the room, though Every day she was impossible in a new way, Stamping her foot like a naughty Enid Blyton child, Shouting "Poets don’t do arithmetic!" Or drawing caricatures of me in her book.
Then there were the ‘moments of vision’, her eyes Dissolving the blank walls and made-up faces, Genius painfully going through her paces, The skull she drew, the withered chrysanthemum And scarlet rose, ‘Descensus averno’, like Virgil, I supposed.
Now three years later, in nylons and tight skirt, She returns from grammar school to make a chaos of my room; Plaiting a rose in her hair, I remember the words of her poem - ‘For love is wrong/in word, in deed/But you will be mine’ And now her promise to come the last two days of term, "But not tell them", the diamond bomb exploding In her eyes, the key left ‘Accidentally’ on my desk And the faint surprise.


by Robert Pinsky |

Impossible To Tell

 to Robert Hass and in memory of Elliot Gilbert


Slow dulcimer, gavotte and bow, in autumn,
Bashõ and his friends go out to view the moon;
In summer, gasoline rainbow in the gutter,

The secret courtesy that courses like ichor
Through the old form of the rude, full-scale joke,
Impossible to tell in writing.
"Bashõ" He named himself, "Banana Tree": banana After the plant some grateful students gave him, Maybe in appreciation of his guidance Threading a long night through the rules and channels Of their collaborative linking-poem Scored in their teacher's heart: live, rigid, fluid Like passages etched in a microscopic cicuit.
Elliot had in his memory so many jokes They seemed to breed like microbes in a culture Inside his brain, one so much making another It was impossible to tell them all: In the court-culture of jokes, a top banana.
Imagine a court of one: the queen a young mother, Unhappy, alone all day with her firstborn child And her new baby in a squalid apartment Of too few rooms, a different race from her neighbors.
She tells the child she's going to kill herself.
She broods, she rages.
Hoping to distract her, The child cuts capers, he sings, he does imitations Of different people in the building, he jokes, He feels if he keeps her alive until the father Gets home from work, they'll be okay till morning.
It's laughter versus the bedroom and the pills.
What is he in his efforts but a courtier? Impossible to tell his whole delusion.
In the first months when I had moved back East From California and had to leave a message On Bob's machine, I used to make a habit Of telling the tape a joke; and part-way through, I would pretend that I forgot the punchline, Or make believe that I was interrupted-- As though he'd be so eager to hear the end He'd have to call me back.
The joke was Elliot's, More often than not.
The doctors made the blunder That killed him some time later that same year.
One day when I got home I found a message On my machine from Bob.
He had a story About two rabbis, one of them tall, one short, One day while walking along the street together They see the corpse of a Chinese man before them, And Bob said, sorry, he forgot the rest.
Of course he thought that his joke was a dummy, Impossible to tell--a dead-end challenge.
But here it is, as Elliot told it to me: The dead man's widow came to the rabbis weeping, Begging them, if they could, to resurrect him.
Shocked, the tall rabbi said absolutely not.
But the short rabbi told her to bring the body Into the study house, and ordered the shutters Closed so the room was night-dark.
Then he prayed Over the body, chanting a secret blessing Out of Kabala.
"Arise and breathe," he shouted; But nothing happened.
The body lay still.
So then The little rabbi called for hundreds of candles And danced around the body, chanting and praying In Hebrew, then Yiddish, then Aramaic.
He prayed In Turkish and Egyptian and Old Galician For nearly three hours, leaping about the coffin In the candlelight so that his tiny black shoes Seemed not to touch the floor.
With one last prayer Sobbed in the Spanish of before the Inquisition He stopped, exhausted, and looked in the dead man's face.
Panting, he raised both arms in a mystic gesture And said, "Arise and breathe!" And still the body Lay as before.
Impossible to tell In words how Elliot's eyebrows flailed and snorted Like shaggy mammoths as--the Chinese widow Granting permission--the little rabbi sang The blessing for performing a circumcision And removed the dead man's foreskin, chanting blessings In Finnish and Swahili, and bathed the corpse From head to foot, and with a final prayer In Babylonian, gasping with exhaustion, He seized the dead man's head and kissed the lips And dropped it again and leaping back commanded, "Arise and breathe!" The corpse lay still as ever.
At this, as when Bashõ's disciples wind Along the curving spine that links the renga Across the different voices, each one adding A transformation according to the rules Of stasis and repetition, all in order And yet impossible to tell beforehand, Elliot changes for the punchline: the wee Rabbi, still panting, like a startled boxer, Looks at the dead one, then up at all those watching, A kind of Mel Brooks gesture: "Hoo boy!" he says, "Now that's what I call really dead.
" O mortal Powers and princes of earth, and you immortal Lords of the underground and afterlife, Jehovah, Raa, Bol-Morah, Hecate, Pluto, What has a brilliant, living soul to do with Your harps and fires and boats, your bric-a-brac And troughs of smoking blood? Provincial stinkers, Our languages don't touch you, you're like that mother Whose small child entertained her to beg her life.
Possibly he grew up to be the tall rabbi, The one who washed his hands of all those capers Right at the outset.
Or maybe he became The author of these lines, a one-man renga The one for whom it seems to be impossible To tell a story straight.
It was a routine Procedure.
When it was finished the physicians Told Sandra and the kids it had succeeded, But Elliot wouldn't wake up for maybe an hour, They should go eat.
The two of them loved to bicker In a way that on his side went back to Yiddish, On Sandra's to some Sicilian dialect.
He used to scold her endlessly for smoking.
When she got back from dinner with their children The doctors had to tell them about the mistake.
Oh swirling petals, falling leaves! The movement Of linking renga coursing from moment to moment Is meaning, Bob says in his Haiku book.
Oh swirling petals, all living things are contingent, Falling leaves, and transient, and they suffer.
But the Universal is the goal of jokes, Especially certain ethnic jokes, which taper Down through the swirling funnel of tongues and gestures Toward their preposterous Ithaca.
There's one A journalist told me.
He heard it while a hero Of the South African freedom movement was speaking To elderly Jews.
The speaker's own right arm Had been blown off by right-wing letter-bombers.
He told his listeners they had to cast their ballots For the ANC--a group the old Jews feared As "in with the Arabs.
" But they started weeping As the old one-armed fighter told them their country Needed them to vote for what was right, their vote Could make a country their children could return to From London and Chicago.
The moved old people Applauded wildly, and the speaker's friend Whispered to the journalist, "It's the Belgian Army Joke come to life.
" I wish I could tell it To Elliot.
In the Belgian Army, the feud Between the Flemings and Walloons grew vicious, So out of hand the army could barely function.
Finally one commander assembled his men In one great room, to deal with things directly.
They stood before him at attention.
"All Flemings," He ordered, "to the left wall.
" Half the men Clustered to the left.
"Now all Walloons," he ordered, "Move to the right.
" An equal number crowded Against the right wall.
Only one man remained At attention in the middle: "What are you, soldier?" Saluting, the man said, "Sir, I am a Belgian.
" "Why, that's astonishing, Corporal--what's your name?" Saluting again, "Rabinowitz," he answered: A joke that seems at first to be a story About the Jews.
But as the renga describes Religious meaning by moving in drifting petals And brittle leaves that touch and die and suffer The changing winds that riffle the gutter swirl, So in the joke, just under the raucous music Of Fleming, Jew, Walloon, a courtly allegiance Moves to the dulcimer, gavotte and bow, Over the banana tree the moon in autumn-- Allegiance to a state impossible to tell.


by Allen Ginsberg |

Haiku (Never Published)

 Drinking my tea
Without sugar-
 No difference.
The sparrow shits upside down --ah! my brain & eggs Mayan head in a Pacific driftwood bole --Someday I'll live in N.
Y.
Looking over my shoulder my behind was covered with cherry blossoms.
Winter Haiku I didn't know the names of the flowers--now my garden is gone.
I slapped the mosquito and missed.
What made me do that? Reading haiku I am unhappy, longing for the Nameless.
A frog floating in the drugstore jar: summer rain on grey pavements.
(after Shiki) On the porch in my shorts; auto lights in the rain.
Another year has past-the world is no different.
The first thing I looked for in my old garden was The Cherry Tree.
My old desk: the first thing I looked for in my house.
My early journal: the first thing I found in my old desk.
My mother's ghost: the first thing I found in the living room.
I quit shaving but the eyes that glanced at me remained in the mirror.
The madman emerges from the movies: the street at lunchtime.
Cities of boys are in their graves, and in this town.
.
.
Lying on my side in the void: the breath in my nose.
On the fifteenth floor the dog chews a bone- Screech of taxicabs.
A hardon in New York, a boy in San Fransisco.
The moon over the roof, worms in the garden.
I rent this house.
[Haiku composed in the backyard cottage at 1624 Milvia Street, Berkeley 1955, while reading R.
H.
Blyth's 4 volumes, "Haiku.
"]


by Yosa Buson |

Variations on The short night

 Below are eleven Buson haiku
beginning with the phrase
'The short night--'


The short night--
on the hairy caterpillar
beads of dew.
The short night-- patrolmen washing in the river.
The short night-- bubbles of crab froth among the river reeds.
The short night-- a broom thrown away on the beach.
The short night-- the Oi River has sunk two feet.
The short night-- on the outskirts of the village a small shop opening.
The short night-- broken, in the shallows, a crescent moon.
The short night-- the peony has opened.
The short night-- waves beating in, an abandoned fire.
The short night-- near the pillow a screen turning silver.
The short night-- shallow footprints on the beach at Yui.
User Submitted "The short night--" Haiku Submit your own haiku beginning with the line "The short night--" and we'll post the best ones below! Just dash off an e-mail to: theshortnight@plagiarist.
com The short night- a watery moon stands alone over the hill Maggie The short night-- just as I'm falling asleep my wife's waking up Larry Bole


by Richard Brautigan |

Trout Fishing in America

 a novel by Richard Brautigan


 THE COVER FOR

 TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA



The cover for Trout Fishing in America is a photograph taken

late in the afternoon, a photograph of the Benjamin Franklin

statue in San Francisco's Washington Square.
Born 1706--Died 1790, Benjamin Franklin stands on a pedestal that looks like a house containing stone furniture.
He holds some papers in one hand and his hat in the other.
Then the statue speaks, saying in marble: PRESENTED BY H.
D.
COGSWELL TO OUR BOYS AND GIRLS WHO WILL SOON TAKE OUR PLACES AND PASS ON.
Around the base of the statue are four words facing the directions of this world, to the east WELCOME, to the west WELCOME, to the north WELCOME, to the south WELCOME.
Just behind the statue are three poplar trees, almost leafless except for the top branches.
The statue stands in front of the middle tree.
All around the grass is wet from the rains of early February.
In the background is a tall cypress tree, almost dark like a room.
Adlai Stevenson spoke under the tree in 1956, before a crowd of 40, 000 people.
There is a tall church across the street from the statue with crosses, steeples, bells and a vast door that looks like a huge mousehole, perhaps from a Tom and Jerry cartoon, and written above the door is "Per L'Universo.
" Around five o'clock in the afternoon of my cover for Trout Fishing in America, people gather in the park across the street from the church and they are hungry.
It's sandwich time for the poor.
But they cannot cross the street until the signal is given.
Then they all run across the street to the church and get their sandwiches that are wrapped in newspaper.
They go back to the park and unwrap the newspaper and see what their sandwiches are all about.
A friend of mine unwrapped his sandwich one afternoon and looked inside to find just a leaf of spinach.
That was all.
Was it Kafka who learned about America by reading the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Kafka who said, "I like the Americans because they are healthy and optimistic.
" KNOCK ON WOOD (PART ONE) As a child when did I first hear about trout fishing in America? From whom? I guess it was a stepfather of mine.
Summer of 1942.
The old drunk told me about troutfishing.
When he could talk, he had a way of describing trout as if they were a precious and intelligent metal.
Silver is not a good adjective to describe what I felt when he told me about trout fishing.
I'd like to get it right.
Maybe trout steel.
Steel made from trout.
The clear snow-filled river acting as foundry and heat.
Imagine Pittsburgh.
A steel that comes from trout, used to make buildings, trains and tunnels.
The Andrew Carnegie of Trout! The Reply of Trout Fishing in America: I remember with particular amusement, people with three- cornered hats fishing in the dawn.
KNOCK ON WOOD (PART TWO) One spring afternoon as a child in the strange town of Portland, I walked down to a different street corner, and saw a row of old houses, huddled together like seals on a rock.
Then there was a long field that came sloping down off a hill.
The field was covered with green grass and bushes.
On top of the hill there was a grove of tall, dark trees.
At a distance I saw a waterfall come pouring down off the hill.
It was long and white and I could almost feel its cold spray.
There must be a creek there, I thought, and it probably has trout in it.
Trout.
At last an opportunity to go trout fishing, to catch my first Trout, to behold Pittsburgh.
It was growing dark.
I didn't have time to go and look at the creek.
I walked home past the glass whiskers of the houses, reflecting the downward rushing waterfalls of night.
The next day I would go trout fishing for the first time.
I would get up early and eat my breakfast and go.
I had heard that it was better to go trout fishing early in the morning.
The trout were better for it.
They had something extra in the morning.
I went home to prepare for trout fishing in America.
I didn't have any fishing tackle, so I had to fall back on corny fishing tackle.
Like a joke.
Why did the chicken cross the road? I bent a pin and tied it onto a piece of white string.
And slept.
The next morning I got up early and ate my breakfast.
I took a slice of white bread to use for bait.
I planned on making dough balls from the soft center of the bread and putting them on my vaudevillian hook.
I left the place and walked down to the different streetCorner.
How beautiful the field looked and the creek that came pouring down in a waterfall off the hill.
But as I got closer to the creek I could see that something was wrong.
The creek did not act right.
There was a strangeness to it.
There was a thing about its motion that was wrong.
Finally I got close enough to see what the trouble was.
The waterfall was just a flight of white wooden stairs leading up to a house in the trees.
I stood there for a long time, looking up and looking down, following the stairs with my eyes, having trouble believing.
Then I knocked on my creek and heard the sound of wood I ended up by being my own trout and eating the slice of bread myself.
The Reply of Trout Fishing in America: There was nothing I could do.
I couldn't change a flight of stairs into a creek.
The boy walked back to where he came from.
The same thing once happened to me.
I remember mistaking an old woman for a trout stream in Vermont, and I had to beg her pardon.
"Excuse me, " I said.
"I thought you were a trout stream.
" "I'm not, " she said.
RED LIP Seventeen years later I sat down on a rock.
It was under a tree next to an old abandoned shack that had a sheriff's notice nailed like a funeral wreath to the front door.
NO TRESPASSING 4/17 OF A HAIKU Many rivers had flowed past those seventeen years, and thousands of trout, and now beside the highway and the sheriff's notice flowed yet another river, the Klamath, and I was trying to get thirty-five miles downstream to Steelhead, the place where I was staying.
It was all very simple.
No one would stop and pick me up even though I was carrying fishing tackle.
People usually stop and pick up a fisherman.
I had to wait three hours for a ride.
The sun was like a huge fifty-cent piece that someone had poured kerosene on and then had lit with a match and said, "Here, hold this while I go get a newspaper, " and put the coin in my hand, but never came back.
I had walked for miles and miles until I came to the rock under the tree and sat down.
Every time a car would come by, about once every ten minutes, I would get up and stick out my thumb as if it were a bunch of bananas and then sit back down on the rock again.
The old shack had a tin roof colored reddish by years of wear, like a hat worn under the guillotine.
A corner of the roof was loose and a hot wind blew down the river and the loose corner clanged in the wind.
A car went by.
An old couple.
The car almost swerved off the road and into the river.
I guess they didn't see many hitchhikers up there.
The car went around the corner with both of them looking back at me.
I had nothing else to do, so I caught salmon flies in my landing net.
I made up my own game.
It went like this: I couldn't chase after them.
I had to let them fly to me.
It was something to do with my mind.
I caught six.
A little ways up from the shack was an outhouse with its door flung violently open.
The inside of the outhouse was exposed like a human face and the outhouse seemed to say, "The old guy who built me crapped in here 9,745 times and he's dead now and I don't want anyone else to touch me.
He was a good guy.
He built me with loving care.
Leave me alone.
I'm a monument now to a good ass gone under.
There's no mystery here.
That's why the door's open.
If you have to crap, go in the bushes like the deer.
" "Fuck you, " I said to the outhouse.
"All I want is a ride down the river.
" THE KOOL-AID WINO When I was a child I had a friend who became a Kool-Aid wino as the result of a rupture.
He was a member of a very large and poor German family.
All the older children in the family had to work in the fields during the summer, picking beans for two-and-one-half cents a pound to keep the family going.
Everyone worked except my friend who couldn't because he was ruptured.
There was no money for an operation.
There wasn't even enough money to buy him a truss.
So he stayed home and became a Kool-Aid wino.
One morning in August I went over to his house.
He was still in bed.
He looked up at me from underneath a tattered revolution of old blankets.
He had never slept under a sheet in his life.
"Did you bring the nickel you promised?" he asked.
"Yeah, " I said.
"It's here in my pocket.
" "Good.
" He hopped out of bed and he was already dressed.
He had told me once that he never took off his clothes when he went to bed.
"Why bother?" he had said.
"You're only going to get up, anyway.
Be prepared for it.
You're not fooling anyone by taking your clothes off when you go to bed.
" He went into the kitchen, stepping around the littlest children, whose wet diapers were in various stages of anarchy.
He made his breakfast: a slice of homemade bread covered with Karo syrup and peanut butter.
"Let's go," he said.
We left the house with him still eating the sandwich.
The store was three blocks away, on the other side of a field covered with heavy yellow grass.
There were many pheasants in the field.
Fat with summer they barely flew away when we came up to them.
"Hello, " said the grocer.
He was bald with a red birthmark on his head.
The birthmark looked just like an old car parked on his head.
He automatically reached for a package of grape Kool-Aid and put it on the counter.
"Five cents.
" "He's got it, " my friend said.
I reached into my pocket and gave the nickel to the grocer.
He nodded and the old red car wobbled back and forth on the road as if the driverwere having an epileptic seizure.
We left.
My friend led the way across the field.
One of the pheasants didn't even bother to fly.
He ran across the field in front of us like a feathered pig.
When we got back to my friend's house the ceremony began.
To him the making of Kool-Aid was a romance and a ceremony.
It had to be performed in an exact manner and with dignity.
First he got a gallon jar and we went around to the side of the house where the water spigot thrust itself out of the ground like the finger of a saint, surrounded by a mud puddle.
He opened the Kool-Aid and dumped it into the jar.
Putting the jar under the spigot, he turned the water on.
The water spit, splashed and guzzled out of the spigot.
He was careful to see that the jar did not overflow and the precious Kool-Aid spill out onto the ground.
When the jar was full he turned the water off with a sudden but delicate motion like a famous brain surgeon removing a disordered portion of the imagination.
Then he screwed the lid tightly onto the top of the jar and gave it a good shake.
The first part of the ceremony was over.
Like the inspired priest of an exotic cult, he had performed the first part of the ceremony well.
His mother came around the side of the house and said in a voice filled with sand and string, "When are you going to do the dishes? .
.
.
Huh?" "Soon, " he said.
"Well, you better, " she said.
When she left.
it was as if she had never been there at all.
The second part of the ceremony began with him carrying the jar Very carefully to an abandoned chicken house in the back.
"The dishes can wait, " he said to me.
Bertrand Russell could not have stated it better.
He opened the chicken house door and we went in.
The place was littered with half-rotten comic books.
They were like fruit under a tree.
In the corner was an old mattress and beside the mattress were four quart jars.
He took the gallon jar over to them, and filled them carefully not spilling a drop.
He screwed their caps on tightly and was now ready for a day's drinking.
You're supposed to make only two quarts of Kool-Aid from a package, but he always made a gallon, so his Kool-Aid was a mere shadow of its desired potency.
And you're supposed to add a cup of sugar to every package of Kool-Aid, but he never put any sugar in his Kool-Aid because there wasn't any sugar to put in it.
He created his own Kool-Aid reality and was able to illuminate himself by it.


by Matsuo Basho |

The old pond

 Following are several translations
of the 'Old Pond' poem, which may be
the most famous of all haiku:

Furuike ya 
kawazu tobikomu 
mizu no oto

 -- Basho



Literal Translation

Fu-ru (old) i-ke (pond) ya, 
ka-wa-zu (frog) to-bi-ko-mu (jumping into) 
mi-zu (water) no o-to (sound)






 The old pond--
a frog jumps in,
 sound of water.
Translated by Robert Hass Old pond.
.
.
a frog jumps in water's sound.
Translated by William J.
Higginson An old silent pond.
.
.
A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again.
Translated by Harry Behn There is the old pond! Lo, into it jumps a frog: hark, water's music! Translated by John Bryan The silent old pond a mirror of ancient calm, a frog-leaps-in splash.
Translated by Dion O'Donnol old pond frog leaping splash Translated by Cid Corman Antic pond-- frantic frog jumps in-- gigantic sound.
Translated by Bernard Lionel Einbond MAFIA HIT MAN POET: NOTE FOUND PINNED TO LAPEL OF DROWNED VICTIM'S DOUBLE-BREASTED SUIT!!! 'Dere wasa dis frogg Gone jumpa offa da logg Now he inna bogg.
' -- Anonymous Translated by George M.
Young, Jr.
Old pond leap -- splash a frog.
Translated by Lucien Stryck The old pond, A frog jumps in:.
Plop! Translated by Allan Watts The old pond, yes, and A frog is jumping into The water, and splash.
Translated by G.
S.
Fraser


by Billy Collins |

Japan

 Today I pass the time reading
a favorite haiku,
saying the few words over and over.
It feels like eating the same small, perfect grape again and again.
I walk through the house reciting it and leave its letters falling through the air of every room.
I stand by the big silence of the piano and say it.
I say it in front of a painting of the sea.
I tap out its rhythm on an empty shelf.
I listen to myself saying it, then I say it without listening, then I hear it without saying it.
And when the dog looks up at me, I kneel down on the floor and whisper it into each of his long white ears.
It's the one about the one-ton temple bell with the moth sleeping on its surface, and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating pressure of the moth on the surface of the iron bell.
When I say it at the window, the bell is the world and I am the moth resting there.
When I say it at the mirror, I am the heavy bell and the moth is life with its papery wings.
And later, when I say it to you in the dark, you are the bell, and I am the tongue of the bell, ringing you, and the moth has flown from its line and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.