Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa translated and read by Robert Hass
Editor Mary McCallum
Kobayashi Issa June 15, 1763 - November 19, 1827
Love them! A deliciously irreverent way to kick off 2012 - and they feel so fresh and contemporary, and yet the poet died over 180 years ago.
According to Wikipedia, Kobayashi Issa wrote over 20,000 haiku - compared with the more famous Basho's 2,000 - and of those he wrote 54 haiku on the snail, 15 on the toad, nearly 200 on frogs, about 230 on the firefly, more than 150 on the mosquito, 90 on flies, over 100 on fleas and nearly 90 on the cicada, making a total of about one thousand verses on such creatures alone.
Robert Hass is himself a celebrated American poet. I carry this poem of his in my wallet.
Haiku: 'the perfect poetic form for our time'? Check out the video below and then try the other Tuesday poems in the sidebar posted by our 30 poets, written by themselves or by poets they admire. We're here every Tuesday. Happy New Year.
This week's editor Mary McCallum is a poet and novelist who lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She is the curator of Tuesday Poem with Claire Beynon (Dunedin). Mary also teaches creative writing, reviews books and works in a bookshop. She is currently working on poems for a Fringe Festival exhibition Translucent Landscapes and blogs at O Audacious Book.