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Haiku Classic: Feb. 5, 2017

dotewosore karenono-inuto nariyukeri


    off the riverbank

    a dog goes down into

    the withered fields


    Seishi Yamaguchi (1901-94): Translated and commented on by Isamu Hashimoto

    The dog concisely depicted here might be the author himself or a self-portrait of each reader. As human beings we sometimes feel alienated from the outer world just like the one on the bank who aimlessly walks and walks as if the purpose were wandering. I always remind myself that a simple depiction is the first and the best thing to do in writing haiku. If there are superfluous expressions or explanations, the haiku god will recede at once. Below is another masterpiece by Seishi (tr. by IH):


    in the tumbledown house

    doctor was overwhelmed by darkness

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