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Matsuo Basho Poems

A collection of select Matsuo Basho famous poems that were written by Matsuo Basho or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

Don't forget to view our Matsuo Basho home page with links to biographical information, articles, and more poems that may not be listed here.

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by Basho, Matsuo
 A bee
staggers out
 of the peony....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 A caterpillar,
this deep in fall--
 still not a butterfly....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 At a hermitage:

 A cool fall night--
getting dinner, we peeled
 eggplants, cucumbers....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 A monk sips morning tea,
it's quiet,
 the chrysanthemum's flowering....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 A snowy morning--
by myself,
 chewing on dried salmon....Read More

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

by Basho, Matsuo
 Autumn moonlight--
 a worm digs silently
 into the chestnut....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 First day of spring--
I keep thinking about
 the end of autumn....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 First snow
 on the half-finished bridge....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 First winter rain--
even the monkey
 seems to want a raincoat....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 Basho, Matsuo
 Heat waves shimmering
one or two inches
 above the dead grass....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 Basho, Matsuo
 Taking a nap,
feet planted
 against a cool wall....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 The dragonfly
can't quite land
 on that blade of grass....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 The oak tree:
not interested
 in cherry blossoms....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 J....Read More

by Basho, Matsuo
 Winter solitude--
in a world of one color
 the sound of wind....Read More