Vivid new translations of Basho's popular haiku, in a selected format ideal for newcomers as well as fans long familiar with the Japanese master.
Basho, the famously bohemian traveler through seventeenth-century Japan, is a poet attuned to the natural world as well as humble human doings; "Piles of quilts/ snow on distant mountains/ I watch both," he writes. His work captures both the profound loneliness of one observing mind and the broad-ranging joy he finds in our connections to the larger community. David Young, acclaimed translator and Knopf poet, writes in his introduction to this selection, "This poet's consciousness affiliates itself with crickets, islands, monkeys, snowfalls, moonscapes, flowers, trees, and ceremonies...Waking and sleeping, alone and in company, he moves through the world, delighting in its details." Young's translations are bright, alert, musically perfect, and rich in tenderness toward their maker.