[even with insects]

By Kobayashi Issa 1763–1828 Kobayashi Issa

Translated By Robert Hass

Even with insects—
some can sing,
    some can’t.

[even with insects] 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)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Kobayashi Issa 1763–1828


Subjects Music, Relationships, Pets, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Haiku


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 . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Music, Relationships, Pets, Arts & Sciences


Poetic Terms Haiku

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.