Master Haiku from Basho, Issa, Buson, Shiki, and Chiyo

free haiku samples

Matsuo Basho

the whole family
all with white hair and canes
visiting graves

under the image of Buddha
all these spring flowers
seem a little tiresome

that great blue oak
indifferent to all blossoms
appears more noble

Yosa Buson

a whale!
down it goes, and more and more
up goes its tail!

struck by a
raindrop, snail
closes up

grasses are misty
the waters silent –
a tranquil evening

Kaga-no Chiyo

mistaking birds
for leaves – lonely
a winter moon

the morning glory!
it has taken the well bucket
I must seek elsewhere for water

spring rain –
all things on earth
become beautiful

Kobayashi Issa

the snow having melted
the village
is full of children

a sheet of rain –
only one man remains among
cherry blossom shadows

my spring is just this:
a single bamboo shoot
a willow branch

Masaoka Shiki

looking up
what a high pagoda
in the autumn sky

the sunset behind
a traveling monk
tall in the withered field

locusts fly low
over rice paddies
in the dim sun ray

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