Friday, December 28, 2007

Haiku Death Poem from 1858

By the poet Saiba
written on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, 1858

I shift my pillow
closer to the
full moon.

Meigetsu no
ho e korobasu
makura kana

— from Japanese Death Poems written by zen monks and haiku poets on the verge of death
compiled with an introduction by Yoel Hoffmann (Tuttle, 1986)

This is reprinted as a review of the book, which does not need any further review than an example of the one of the book's many poems.


tairaku said...

That's one of my favorite books.

Chris Moran said...

Yes, I've admired it for a number of years. My wife bought it for me for Christmas. I kept opening it to the poem I posted. I'd love to hear it chanted in Japanese.