Basho’s Haiku about the Moon with Recordings


Matsuo Bashō (1644 – 1694) was the master of Haiku! Here you can listen to some of his haiku about the moon in Japanese and English. You can read along with the Japanese text, the pronunciation, the English translations and commentary….

MP3 of Basho’s Haiku about the Moon


kumo ori ori / hito o yasumeru / tsukimi kana

Oh! the moon gazing where some clouds
From time to time repose the eye!

[Even beauty is best appreciated when occasionally veiled.]



meigetsu no / hana ka to miete / wata-batake

In the bright moonlight what appeared
Like flowers is a cotton field.

[What he took for a grove of lovely cherry-blossom is but a common cotton plantation after all. Unpoetical at the fact is, he states it because it is a fact.]



yasu yasu to / idete izayou / tsuki no kumo

Oh! clouds about the moon, from whence
She falters forth so debonair!



kokono tabi / okite mo tsuki no / nanatsu kana

Despite that I have nine times risen,
‘Tis but the fourth hour by the moon.

[In Japanese, the "seventh" hour, their seven o’clock (old style) corresponding to our 4 a.m. The poet has risen repeatedly to gaze at the beauteous moon, but still the dawn comes not.]


The English Translations and Text: B.H. Chamberlain
Print of the Moon: Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)
Recording by: Ekzemplaro & Rob Board

This article was posted on Saturday, February 14th, 2015 at 9:21 pm and is filed under Basho, Countries & Cultures, Haiku, Japan, Japanese, Japanese Poems, Languages, MP3's, MP3's of Poems, Poetry, Poets, Recordings, Recordings of Poems. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Basho’s Haiku about the Moon with Recordings”

  1. Arnold Berke Says:

    I am looking to confirm that the following lines are from a poem by Basho:

    “I have seen moon and blossom / I go now to view the last and loveliest, the snow”

    Can you confirm for me? Thanks!

  2. Lisa Says:

    Arnold – that was written by the poet Rippo on his deathbed. You can find it in the book Net of Fireflies (2011) by Harold Stewart. That quote is online on Google here.

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