“In Kyoto ...”

By Basho 1644–1694 Basho

Translated By Jane Hirshfield

In Kyoto,
hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.

Bashō, “In Kyoto,” translated by Jane Hirshfield. Reprinted with the permission of the translator.

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Poet Basho 1644–1694

POET’S REGION Japan

Subjects Relationships, Home Life, Living, Sorrow & Grieving

Occasions Farewells & Good Luck

Poetic Terms Haiku

Biography

The 17th-century Japanese haiku master Basho was born Matsuo Kinsaku near Kyoto, Japan, to a minor samurai and his wife. Soon after the poet’s birth, Japan closed its borders, beginning a seclusion that allowed its native culture to flourish. It is believed that Basho’s siblings became farmers, while Basho, at Ueno Castle in the service of the local lord’s son, grew interested in literature. After the young lord’s early death, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Home Life, Living, Sorrow & Grieving

POET’S REGION Japan

Poetic Terms Haiku

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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