After the Gentle Poet Kobayashi Issa

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New Year’s morning—
everything is in blossom! 
 I feel about average.

 A huge frog and I 
staring at each other, 
 neither of us moves.

 This moth saw brightness 
in a woman’s chamber—
 burned to a crisp.

 Asked how old he was 
the boy in the new kimono 
 stretched out all five fingers.

 Blossoms at night, 
like people
 moved by music

 Napped half the day; 
no one
 punished me!

Fiftieth birthday:

 From now on, 
It’s all clear profit, 
 every sky.

 Don’t worry, spiders, 
I keep house 

 These sea slugs, 
they just don’t seem 


 Bright autumn moon; 
pond snails crying 
 in the saucepan.

© Robert Hass