Book Details

Google preview button
    • February 2011
    • 9780231156479
  • 176 Pages

  • Paperback
  • $24.00
  • / £16.50

ADD TO CART

    • February 2011
    • 9780231156486
  • 176 Pages

  • Hardcover
  • $75.00
  • / £52.00

ADD TO CART

    • February 2011
    • 9780231527064
  • 176 Pages

  • E-book
  • $23.99
  • / £16.50

Haiku Before Haiku

From the Renga Masters to Basho

Translated and with an introduction by Steven D. Carter

While the rise of the charmingly simple, brilliantly evocative haiku is often associated with the seventeenth-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, the form had already flourished for more than four hundred years before Basho even began to write. These early poems, known as hokku, are identical to haiku in syllable count and structure but function differently as a genre. Whereas each haiku is its own constellation of image and meaning, a hokku opens a series of linked, collaborative stanzas in a sequence called renga.

Under the mastery of Basho, hokku first gained its modern independence. His talents contributed to the evolution of the style into the haiku beloved by so many poets around the world—Richard Wright, Jack Kerouac, and Billy Collins being notable devotees. Haiku Before Haiku presents 320 hokku composed between the thirteenth and early eighteenth centuries, from the poems of the courtier Nijo Yoshimoto to those of the genre's first "professional" master, Sogi, and his disciples. It features 20 masterpieces by Basho himself. Steven D. Carter introduces the history of haiku and its aesthetics, classifying these poems according to style and context. His rich commentary and notes on composition and setting illuminate each work, and he provides brief biographies of the poets, the original Japanese text in romanized form, and earlier, classical poems to which some of the hokku allude.

About the Author

Steven D. Carter is Yamato Ichihashi Chair in Japanese History and Civilization at Stanford University. His numerous books include Just Living: Poems by the Medieval Monk Tonna and Unforgotten Dreams: Poems by the Zen Monk Shotetsu.

offers readers a chance to explore the evolution of this form.

An erudite, beautifully translated, and accessible source on this form of Japanese poetry that deserves more attention from Anglophone readers.

Cheryl Crowley

About the Author

Steven D. Carter is Yamato Ichihashi Chair in Japanese History and Civilization at Stanford University. His numerous books include Just Living: Poems by the Medieval Monk Tonna and Unforgotten Dreams: Poems by the Zen Monk Shotetsu.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Poems
The Nun Abutsu
Musho
Zenna
Reizei Tamesuke
Muso Soseki
Junkaku
Gusai
Nijo Yoshimoto
Shua
Soa
Asayama Bonto
Mitsuhiro
Fushiminomiya Sadafusa
Chiun
Takayama Sozei
Gyojo
Noa
Shinkei
Senjun
Sugiwara Soi
Sogi
Hino Tomiko
Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Ouchi Masahiro
Inko
Shohaku
Sakurai Motosuke
Socho
Inawashiro Kensai
Sanjonishi Sanetaka
Soseki
Reizei Tamekazu
Tani Soboku
Shukei
Soyo
Arakida Moritake
Shokyu
Ikkado Joa
Sanjonishi Kin'eda
Miyoshi Chokei
Satomura Joha
Satomura Shoshitsu
Oka Kosetsu
Hosokawa Yusai
Satomura Genjo
Matsudaira Ietada
Shotaku
Nishinoto'in Tokiyoshi
Matsunaga Teitoku
Wife of Mitsusada
Miura Tamenori
Nishiyama Soin
Nojun
Konishi Raizan
Matsuo Basho
Bibliography

About the Author

Steven D. Carter is Yamato Ichihashi Chair in Japanese History and Civilization at Stanford University. His numerous books include Just Living: Poems by the Medieval Monk Tonna and Unforgotten Dreams: Poems by the Zen Monk Shotetsu.

About the Author

Steven D. Carter is Yamato Ichihashi Chair in Japanese History and Civilization at Stanford University. His numerous books include Just Living: Poems by the Medieval Monk Tonna and Unforgotten Dreams: Poems by the Zen Monk Shotetsu.

About the Author

Steven D. Carter is Yamato Ichihashi Chair in Japanese History and Civilization at Stanford University. His numerous books include Just Living: Poems by the Medieval Monk Tonna and Unforgotten Dreams: Poems by the Zen Monk Shotetsu.

About the Author

Steven D. Carter is Yamato Ichihashi Chair in Japanese History and Civilization at Stanford University. His numerous books include Just Living: Poems by the Medieval Monk Tonna and Unforgotten Dreams: Poems by the Zen Monk Shotetsu.