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The Librarian’s Cache – THF Resources on Issa

Issa is revered in Japan and internationally as one of the greatest poets of the haikai tradition. He left behind more than 22,000 haiku in his journals and Issa is known and celebrated for his compassion for both humans and animals.

Some THF resources on Issa are listed below and let us know of others in the library that we have not included:

  • Haikupedia has an excellent biography on Issa’s life and his poetry.
  • Haiku Music Challenge 97 – Enjoy music inspired by the haiku of Issa.
  • Ora Ga Haru – A selection of haiku by Issa, edited and translated by D. S. Dombrady.
  • Gabriel Rosenstock on Issa: The Universal Spirit of Issa – Gabriel Rosenstock’s contribution to ‘Poets on Issa,’ edited by David Lanoue. Rosenstock discusses Issa’s universal spirit.
  • Dusk Lingers – Issa is arguably the most popular haiku poet of all time. His emotional plaints touch the heartstrings of all of us across the centuries, pointed up nicely on this broadsheet of translations by Dennis Maloney.
  • That Lovable Old Issa – A short essay by Earl Joshua Stone on Issa, along with his translations of some Issa haiku.
  • Snail My Friend – A collection of haiku by Nika (Jim Force) and Issa. Nika’s haiku were written in direct response to those of Issa or as a response to similar life experiences.
  • Issa’s Life and Poetry – Max Bickerton – “As various general studies on the haikai have been done in English, I have tried to give a detailed account of one special poet.”
Kobayashi Issa portrait from Issa Hokkushū (1829); courtesy of the Issa Memorial Museum

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. O good! I shall devour these. Thanks again, Dan.

    Who doesn’t love Issa? Basho is the mind, Buson the vision, Issa the heart.

    cheap sake
    this cuckoo
    this grove

    ( .悪酒や此時鳥此木立
    waru-zake ya
    kono hototogisu
    kono kodachi )


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