This work is an anthology of nearly 500 translated poems, many available in English for the first time, from the eighth to twentieth centuries. This is an anthology of Japanese verses, (31-syllable waka and 17-syllable haiku), from the eighth to the twentieth century, organized according to seasonal words. Seasonal words have played a fundamental role in the composition of classical Japanese poetry. Each of Japan's twenty - one poetic anthologies compiled by major poets along the centuries begins with the customary four rubrics of the seasons: spring, autumn, summer, and winter. Japanese poets devised specific associations related to the seasons' climate, flora, and fauna - associations that came to be strictly codified and followed by all court poets as well as by the revered masters of haiku Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) and Yosa Buson (1716-1783). To this day Japanese practitioners of classical poetic forms (waka/tanka and haiku) rely in their compositions on these codes, either by embracing them, subverting them, or by devising new, creative variations. The present publication is an introduction to the fascinating world of Japanese poetic associations.
It will appeal to lovers of poetry as well as readers interested in Japanese literature, and the growing number of poets writing haiku in the West.