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Book of the Week: A History of Haiku, Volume One

In this book, published in 1963, R.H. Blyth traces the history of haiku from its beginnings in renga to Issa. Some of the chapters are on: Pre-Basho Haiku Poets, Women Haiku Writers, Haiku Between Basho and Buson and Issa. R.H. Blyth (Reginald Horace Blyth, 1898–1964) was an English author who is most famous for his writings on Zen and on haiku poetry.

The willow-tree
Brushes the morning dewdrops
From the grasses along the path – Sogi, 1421-1502

A rat goes onto the Buddhist altar,
His head ornamented
With chrysanthemum flowers – Takamasa

The plum blooms.
The nightingale sings —
But I am alone – Issa, 1763–1828

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

Do you have a chapbook published in 2015 or earlier that you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details. Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by THF Digital Librarian Dan Campbell and are used with permission.

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