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“Winter solitude — / in a world of one color / the sound of wind” ―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo title 2

Frog backflips
A freezing wind whips
Pond ice chips

“First snow
on the half-finished bridge”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo 8

Urns in tiers
Cheer for grieving heirs

“Awake at night–
the sound of the water jar
cracking in the cold”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo 4

Through the veil
Gross microwaves snail
Ghosts got mail

“A snowy morning–
by myself,
chewing on dried salmon”

―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo 9

Noble lords
Spirits out of gourds
Mazda Fords

“Bitter–tasting ice —
Just enough to wet the throat
Of a sewer rat”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo 2

Shadow plays
Whale-blubber lamp sways

Winter rain
falls on the cow-shed;
a cock crows”

―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo fan magazines

 Jedi lightsabers

“You make the fire
and I’ll show you something wonderful:
a big ball of snow!”

―Matsuo Bashō

Brush Fuji Pagoda

Mountain fumes
Olympian gloom
Curling broom

“Waking in the night;
the lamp is low,
the oil freezing”

―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo iv

The frog jumps
The frozen pond bumps
Bashō trumps

“Winter garden,
the moon thinned to a thread,
insects singing”
―Matsuo Bashō

New Old Edo Green engine

Thus concludes a trilogy of posts quoting Bashō’s poetry. In 1686, Bashō’s “Frog” haiku (quoted, among others, in the first post*) made a triumphal splash in Edo, still echoing today. Those quoted in this post, characterize our local environment’s meteorological conditions, during the incubation of the picture poetry.

Matsuo Basho cartoonCartoon of Matsuo Bashō (evidently clad for wintry climes):

*Countless translations of the Frog haiku are extant. Possibly the shortest–Pond/Frog/Plop, by James Kirkup–is one of some 30 poets’ translations, plus a definitive commentary on the original, by Robert Aitken, preserved on

Homepage: previous posts

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I think this is one of my favorite sets that you guys have put together 😀


    February 28, 2022
    • Rewarding that you share our pleasure in this work, David; for which I thank Basho’s brush. 🙂

      February 28, 2022

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