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The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – September 24, 1996


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The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology (Dover Thrift Editions) + Great Short Poems (Dover Thrift Editions) + Songs for the Open Road: Poems of Travel and Adventure (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (September 24, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486292746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486292748
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Haiku by Arakida Moritake
Haiku by Arakida Moritake
Haiku by Arakida Moritake
Haiku by Chigetsu
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Chiyo Ni
Haiku by Gozan
Haiku by Hattori Ransetsu
Haiku by Hattori Ransetsu
Haiku by Hattori Ransetsu
Haiku by Hayano Hajin
Haiku by Hayano Hajin
Haiku by Hojo Dansui
Haiku by Ichikawa Danjuro I
Haiku by Ihara Saikaku
Haiku by Ihara Saikaku
Haiku by Ihara Saikaku
Haiku by Ihara Saikaku
Haiku by Ihara Saikaku
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Iio Sogi
Haiku by Kagami Shiko
Haiku by Kagami Shiko
Haiku by Kawai Otokuni
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kikaku
Haiku by Kitamura Kigin
Haiku by Kitamura Kigin
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku: On The Eta, The Untouchables by Kobayashi Issa
Haiku by Kosugi Issho
Haiku by Kubota Seifu-jo
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku: Written When Sick In Bed by Masaoka Shiki
Haiku by Matsue Shigeyori
Haiku by Matsunaga Teitoku
Haiku by Matsunaga Teitoku
Haiku by Matsunaga Teitoku
All That Is Left by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Matsuo Munefusa
Hokku: Rika Gave Me A Plantain by Matsuo Munefusa
Reminder by Matsuo Munefusa
Haiku by Mukai Kyorai
Haiku by Mukai Kyorai
Haiku by Mukai Kyorai
Haiku by Nishiyama Soin
Haiku by Nishiyama Soin
Haiku by Nishiyama Soin
Haiku by Nishiyama Soin
Haiku by Nozawa Boncho
Haiku by Nozawa Boncho
Haiku by Nozawa Boncho
Haiku by Nozawa Boncho
Haiku by Ochi Etsujin
Haiku by Ochi Etsujin
Haiku by Ogawa Haritsu
Haiku by Ogawa Shushiki
Haiku by Ogawa Shushiki
Haiku by Oshima Ryota
Haiku by Oshima Ryota
Haiku by Otomo Oemaru
Haiku by Otomo Oemaru
Haiku by Otomo Oemaru
Haiku by Otomo Oemaru
Haiku by Saiokuken Socho
Haiku by Saiokuken Socho
Haiku by Sakurai Baishitsu
Haiku by Sakurai Baishitsu
Haiku by Sanboku
Haiku by Shida Yaba
Haiku by Shida Yaba
Haiku by Shida Yaba
Haiku by Shofu-ni
Haiku by Sute-jo
Haiku by Sute-jo
Haiku by Tachibana Hokushi
Haiku by Tachibana Hokushi
Haiku by Tachibana Hokushi
Haiku by Tachibana Hokushi
Haiku by Tagami Kikushna-ni
Haiku by Tagami Kikushna-ni
Haiku by Takeda (tome) Uko-ni
Haiku by Takeda (tome) Uko-ni
Haiku by Tan Taigi
Haiku by Tan Taigi
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Uejima Onitsura
Haiku by Anonymous
Haiku by Anonymous
Haiku by Anonymous
Haiku by Yagi Shokyu-ni
Haiku by Yagi Shokyu-ni
Haiku by Yagi Shokyu-ni
Haiku by Yamaguchi Sodo
Haiku by Yamaguchi Sodo
Haiku by Yamaguchi Sodo
Haiku by Yamamoto Kakei
Haiku by Yamamoto Kakei
Haiku by Yamazaki Sokan
Haiku by Yamazaki Sokan
Haiku by Yamazaki Sokan
Haiku by Yamazaki Sokan
Haiku by Yamazaki Sokan
Haiku by Yasuhara Tesishitsu
Haiku by Yasuhara Tesishitsu
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
Haiku by Yosa Buson
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

Language Notes

Text: English
Original Language: Japanese

Customer Reviews

The forward explains the basic meaning and grammar of what makes a haiku poem.
Joseph J. Truncale
So having various translations for some of the Haiku really does help one gain a better understanding of the poem.
Christopher Barrett
If your into Haiku this is a must book to read ... Superbly written and most enjoyable.
Bruce Burkard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1997
Format: Paperback
Most of us will remember reading a few selected haiku poems in grade school, but this anthology offers over 200 poems from a 400-year period. Faubion Bowers did a superb job of introducing, selecting, and annotating the poems, and the translations are accompanied by their transliterated Japanese originals, a feature that helps English readers to see the economy of haiku, as well as the alliteration often lost in translation. Works of this caliber seldom cost so little.

Haiku (roughly translated as "unusual verse") is a highly compact form of Japanese poetry. Its origins are in popular literature, and it was somewhat of a superficial fad until Basho and other writers raised it to an art form. One of the key characteristics of haiku is its evocative, reflective nature--it can offer complex ideas in a distilled form. To take one example, from an anonymous writer:

I regret picking

and not picking

violets

At first glance, this seems to be a contradictory and perhaps pointless statement. Why would one regret and not regret picking violets at the same time? On further reflection, however, the answer emerges: picking violets is a pleasurable activity but it kills the violet. Hence, one can both regret picking violets (i.e. killing a thing of beauty) and not picking violets (i.e. missing a pleasant pastime). An interesting parallel would be the opening line of Dickens' *A Tale of Two Cities*: "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." Haiku revels in this kind of elliptical thinking, challenging its readers to reflect beyond the literal meaning of a statement.

Even for non-poetry readers, this volume is a delightful bargain. So make some green tea, sit in a quiet garden, and enjoy this book.

Bill Ramey
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Cheney on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Despite a misleading definition of haiku on the back of this book (continued in the introduction), and despite the tendency of Dover Thrift Editions to use the worst possible translations for other books they have published, this is an authoritative and valuable collection which offers translations of quite a few works otherwise difficult to find. One of the most valuable elements of the book is its printing of multiple translations of one poem -- while some of the translations (particularly from the early part of the 20th century) are execrable, it is fascinating and instructive to see how various poems have been approached.
This book is a great addition to any library, but don't let it be your only haiku book -- be sure to read William Higginson's "Haiku Handbook" as well as "The Essential Haiku" edited by Robert Hass and "The Haiku Anthology" edited by Cor van den Heuvel.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is not only the best haiku bargain for the buck, but a valuable snapshot of the trials and tribulations any literature is likely to go through in the translation process. Bowers has given the reader a semester's worth of translation styles and problems to consider. Anyone interested in the problems of translation, or in taking on the translation of haiku, can learn from this book. Also, anyone attempting to review the literature on haiku in English should probably start here, for it gives sample translation from virtually every serious book on the subject in or out of print at the time of compilation (1996). Bowers knows his stuff, and his Japanese, and contributes some very fine translations occasionally himself.
You couldn't go wrong on this for a first book of haiku!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
You're unlikely to find a better bargain this year on a book. My favorite thing about this book is that the editor often presents multiple English translations of single poems. This illustrates as dramatically as I can imagine how complex the problem of translation is. The format is a bit awkward and the paper isn't of the best quality, but I'm glad to have added this to my collection.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 29, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone looking for an inexpensive book of haiku could do no better than "The Classic Tradition of Haiku : An Anthology." Packed inside this affordable little book are 200 poems from 72 authors, including masters such as Basho and Issa, as well as novelist Saikaku Ihara and a horde of others.

The haiku are presented in a straight-forward chronological fashion, stretching over about 400 years. A few rengas are included early on, to demonstrate the origins of the poetic form. There is little critical analysis or information on the haiku format, apart from a simple 3-page introduction that offers a bare-bones explanation and some footnotes regarding untranslatable words and author's histories. (ie: Who is a student of who, etc...)

An additional bonus of this book is that, not only can you see the evolution of the haiku, but you can also see styles and trends in English translation of haiku, as the anthology provides the work of 45 different translators, including dignitaries such as Allan Ginsberg, Alex Kerr and Lafcadio Hearn. Several of the most important poems are given multiple English translations, so you can see how the interpretation of the translator affects the final product.

A weakness is that many of these translations, especially the early ones, are of dubious quality, with author's attempting to define the meaning of the poem for English-speakers, and eliminating essential functions of haiku such as the non-sequitur "twist" ending that juxtaposes the imagery, or sets it's final scenery. Often, the important final line is first in the English translation, removing some of the power. Of course, the Japanese original is always given as well, so you are welcome to make your own judgment

Weaknesses aside, at the price of a Dover Thrift Edition, there is no reason for someone interested in haiku not to have this book in their collection.
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