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Basho's Haiku
Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho
Basho's Haiku
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Matsuo Basho - Author
David Landis Barnhill - Translation and introduction by
Price: $71.50 
Hardcover - 346 pages
Release Date: August 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6165-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6165-5

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 346 pages
Release Date: August 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6166-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6166-2

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2005 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award

A wonderful new translation of the poetry of Basho—Zen monk, poet of nature, and master of the haiku form.

Basho's Haiku offers the most comprehensive translation yet of the poetry of Japanese writer Matsuo Basho (1644–1694), who is credited with perfecting and popularizing the haiku form of poetry. One of the most widely read Japanese writers, both within his own country and worldwide, Basho is especially beloved by those who appreciate nature and those who practice Zen Buddhism. Born into the samurai class, Basho rejected that world after the death of his master and became a wandering poet and teacher. During his travels across Japan, he became a lay Zen monk and studied history and classical poetry. His poems contained a mystical quality and expressed universal themes through simple images from the natural world.

David Landis Barnhill's brilliant book strives for literal translations of Basho's work, arranged chronologically in order to show Basho's development as a writer. Avoiding wordy and explanatory translations, Barnhill captures the brevity and vitality of the original Japanese, letting the images suggest the depth of meaning involved. Barnhill also presents an overview of haiku poetry and analyzes the significance of nature in this literary form, while suggesting the importance of Basho to contemporary American literature and environmental thought.

“Barnhill’s approach to translation is straightforward and unfussy, aiming to be as accurate as possible, making his two volumes a highly serviceable compilation. They will be of great value to readers.” — The Japan Times

"In this fine translation of 724 hokku, selected from a total surviving oeuvre of 980 verses, Barnhill (Univ. of Wisconsin, Oshkosh) offers by far the most comprehensive collection of Basho’s verse in English to date. He matches noted Basho translator Makoto Ueda (Basho and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary, 1992, 255 verses) in his ability to convey with elegant economy the concept and tone of each hokku, and he surpasses in accuracy many earlier attempts to render Basho’s verse into English. The chronological arrangement of the verses permits the reader to trace patterns in Basho’s career." — CHOICE

"The avid reader of poetry will find David Landis Barnhill's new translations of Basho's haiku a true delight." — Buddhadharma

“…Barnhill reveals the importance of narrative and social contexts in reading Basho. Barnhill’s careful translations and notes reveal a poet both independent and pious … Above all, Basho’s experience of ‘cultured nature’ emerges unforgettably.” — The Providence Sunday Journal on Basho’s Haiku and Basho’s Journey

"This is a very well-researched translation of Basho's poetry that does an outstanding job of presenting this valuable material for those interested in Japanese culture, especially literature and religion. It is a first-rate work that clearly reflects the author's long and intense devotion and commitment to the topic. It will stand out as unique because of the range of poetry that it covers." — Steven Heine, coeditor of Japan in Traditional and Postmodern Perspectives

David Landis Barnhill is Director of Environmental Studies and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He is the coeditor (with Roger S. Gottlieb) of Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Ground, also published by SUNY Press, and the editor of At Home on the Earth: Becoming Native to Our Place: A Multicultural Anthology.




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Table of Contents

Preface

Selected Chronology of the Life of Matsuo Basho

Introduction: The Haiku Poetry of Matsuo Basho

Translation of the Hokku

Notes

Major Nature Images in Basho's Hokku

Glossary

Bibliography

Index to Basho's Hokku in Translation

Index to Basho's Hokku in Japanese

Index of Names



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