From master translator W.S. Merwin comes Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson, the first complete bilingual translation of the entire Buson Kushu (Buson Collection, 1899), a comprehensive collection of the haiku of Yosa Buson (1716–83), originally published in Japan in the mid-eighteenth century. Merwin and Takako Lento worked for nearly a decade to translate these poems, filled with resonant philosophical inquiry and wisdom about the natural world, in an English as luminous as the original Japanese.
In an invaluable “Note from the Translators,” Takako Lento describes Buson as “a major artist as well as a master poet, and his artist’s powers of observation are evident in his verse. He is uniquely carefree and unbound by convention, creating the realities of life with immediacy and warmth.” Also including notes and commentary on the context of the poems and the collaboration process along with source notes for those interested in delving deeper, Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson is an essential addition to the world’s canon of great writing.
“Lovers of haiku will rejoice at the arrival of this book, the first complete translation of the collected haiku of Yosa Buson… rendered into English with obvious care and devotion… Through Buson we realize what haiku is best at expressing—this moment’s experience, bare facts, simple observations, elegant statements of ‘thus-ness.'” —Inquiring Mind
“Having W.S. Merwin and Takako Lento as co-translators of this book is close to ideal, and this is the best English translation of haiku that has ever been published. Their English translations are accurate and poetic and there is nothing better for introducing this great poet.” —Donald Keene, Anahorish Japanese Literature
Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature, 2013-14