A motionless horse,
 at peace in the field,
 in the quietly falling snow.


—Issa (1762 - 1826)
        

Excerpt from COOL MELONS, TURN TO FROGS! THE LIFE AND POEMS OF ISSA, by
Matthew Gollub, illustrations by Kazuko G. Stone 1998. Reprinted with permission from the publisher. For more information, please visit leeandlow.com/books/cool.html.

Click here to buy this book.

About the author: Kobayashi Issa (1762-1826) became a major haikai poet despite an impoverished childhood and early years in which he was practically homeless. He is well loved for the empathy with small creatures expressed in many of his poems.

Responses to the haiku for 28 February 2003 by Issa (1762 - 1826)

  1.  
    Craig Mclanachan (cramar at actrix dot co dot nz)
    2003-03-06 00:58:09
     

    Who is this guy? He won't make it! This is one of the absolute classics I love. Suspect it may have
    been stretched a little in translation to achieve
    english version syllable count.You just know this is first hand observation.

  2.  
    Dylan Tweney (dft at tinywords dot com)
    2003-03-06 13:23:09
     

    Interestingly, this translation has 18 syllables (5-5-8). I haven't read other translations but it would be pretty instructive to compare them, I expect. The illustration accompanying this haiku in the book is beautiful, too.

  3.  
    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-12-27 00:28:15
     

    grey hen
    on the alert -
    inquisitive chicks
    --
    nature's wonderment:
    still chicks
    in the underbrush
    --
    watching
    hen in search of tidbits ---
    cross the road
    --
    scratching sound
    cream hen, brood ...
    closer

  4.  
    john tiong chunghoo
    2004-02-03 08:54:40
     

    the horse munching grass
    so still as if it is posing
    for an artist

  5.  
    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-04 13:25:59
     

    motionless leaves --
    at peace in bed
    in the night's silence

    -

  6.  
    martin
    2011-06-27 22:44:36
     

    falling snow
    the stillness in the horse

  7.