[goes out comes back]

By Kobayashi Issa 1763–1828 Kobayashi Issa

Translated By Robert Hass

Goes out,
comes back—
      the love life of a cat.

[goes out comes back] by Issa, from The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa, edited and with an introduction by Robert Hass. Copyright 1994 by Robert Hass. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho Buson and Issa (The Ecco Press, 1994)

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Poet Kobayashi Issa 1763–1828


Subjects Relationships, Pets

Poetic Terms Haiku, Imagery


Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa, also known as Kobayashi Yataro and Kobayashi Nobuyuki, was born in Kashiwabara, Shinanao province. He eventually took the pen name Issa, which means “cup of tea” or, according to poet Robert Hass, “a single bubble in steeping tea.” Issa’s father was a farmer. His mother died when he was young, and he was raised by his grandmother. His father remarried, and Issa did not get along well with his . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Pets


Poetic Terms Haiku, Imagery

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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