Peter Beilenson, Peter Pauper Press’s founder, and Harry Behn translated and compiled this title with an eye to creating a beautiful and accessible introduction to haiku. This approachable rendition of the poetry both translators loved was crafted with the hope of sparking greater interest in this spare poetic form. We invite you to enjoy each luminous verse.
Haiku Harvestby Peter Beilenson
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Step into a series of dazzling, funny, melancholy, and joyous moments with this collection of haiku masterworks. Translators Peter Beilenson and Harry Behn approached this volume with the twofold goal of crafting a book of haiku accessible to anyone and rendering their best guess at what the poets would have written in English. Their translations preserve the sublime spirit of each verse, conjuring vivid visual and emotional impressions in spare words.
Haiku icon Basho is represented amply here, as are imagery-virtuoso Buson and wry, warm, painfully human Issa. The verses of Shiki, Joso, Kyorai, Kikaku, Chora, Gyodai, Kakei, Izen, and others also appear, illuminated by lovely woodblock prints. From the playful (<i>Oh, that summer moon!/It made me go wandering/Round the pond all night</i> –Basho) to the bittersweet (<i>Everything I touch/With tenderness, alas/Pricks like a bramble</i> –Issa) to the fondly amused (<i>It is not easy/to be sure which end is which/of a resting slug</i> –Kyorai), the poems in this collection will stir your senses and your heart.
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