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Famous Haiku Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Haiku poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous haiku poems. These examples illustrate what a famous haiku poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Basho, Matsuo
...An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again. ...Read More

by Hall, Donald
...In a week or ten days
the snow and ice
will melt from Cemetery Road.

I'm coming! Don't move!

Once again it is April.
Today is the day
we would have been married
twenty-six years.

I finished with April
halfway through March.

You think that their
dying is the worst
thing that could happen.

Then they stay dead.

Will Hall ever wri...Read More

by Eluard, Paul
...The wind 
Rolls a cigarette of air 

The mute girl talks: 
It is art's imperfection. 
This impenetrable speech. 

The motor car is truly launched: 
Four martyrs' heads 
Roll under the wheels. 

Ah! a thousand flames, a fire, 
The light, a shadow! 
The sun is following me. 

A feather gives to a hat 
A touch of lightness: 
The chi...Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
A hill without a name
Veiled in morning mist.

The beginning of autumn:
Sea and emerald paddy
Both the same green.

The winds of autumn
Blow: yet still green
The chestnut husks.

A flash of lightning:
Into the gloom
Goes the heron's cry....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
...From time to time
The clouds give rest
To the moon-beholders....Read More

by Kerouac, Jack
...The taste
 of rain
—Why kneel?...Read More

by Kerouac, Jack
...Birds singing
 in the dark
—Rainy dawn....Read More

by Kerouac, Jack
...The low yellow
 moon above the
Quiet lamplit house...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
--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 ...Read More

by Pinsky, Robert
...rling 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 ...Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
...In the cicada's cry
No sign can foretell
How soon it must die. ...Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
...In the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus . . .
A lovely sunset...Read More

by Collins, Billy
...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...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...hree 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 drawin...Read More

by Soseki, Natsume
...Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow....Read More

by Issa, Kobayashi
...That wren--
looking here, looking there.
You lose something?...Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
...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...Read More

by Shiki, Masaoka
...Toward those short trees
We saw a hawk descending
On a day in spring...Read More

by Brautigan, Richard
...shack that had a sheriff's

notice nailed like a funeral wreath to the front door.


 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 ...Read More

by Buson, Yosa
...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--
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...Read More

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