Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827)

        New Year's Day--
everything is in blossom!
        I feel about average.

        Don't worry, spiders,
I keep house

        Goes out,
comes back--
        the loves of a cat.

        Climb Mount Fuji,
O snail,
        but slowly, slowly.

        Children imitating cormorants
are even more wonderful
        than cormorants.

        Under my house
an inchworm
        measuring the joists.

        Moon, plum blossoms,
this, that,
        and the day goes.

        O flea! whatever you do,
don't jump;
        that way is the river.

        In this world
we walk on the roof of hell,
        gazing at flowers.

on a naked horse
        in pouring rain!

        I'm going out,
flies, so relax,
        make love.

        O owl!
make some other face.
        This is spring rain.

        Even with insects--
some can sing,
        some can't.

        The moon and the flowers,
forty-nine years,
        walking around, wasting time.

        Full moon:
my ramshackle hut
        is what it is.

        What good luck!
Bitten by
        this year's mosquitoes too.

        Red morning sky,
        are you glad of it?

        Napped half the day;
no one
        punished me!

        That gorgeous kite
        from the beggar's shack.

        Not very anxious
to bloom,
        my plum tree.

        We humans--
squirming around
        among the blossoming flowers.

        Crescent moon--
bent to the shape
        of the cold.

        I'm going to roll over,
so please move,

        The holes in the wall
play the flute
        this autumn evening.

        These sea slugs,
they just don't seem

        Writing shit about new snow
for the rich
        is not art.

        Cuckoo singing:
I have nothing special to do,
        neither does the burweed.

        Summer night--
even the stars
        are whispering to each other.

        The world of dew
is the world of dew,
        And yet, and yet--