Kobayashi Issa Poems

One of the best-known Haiku poets of all time, Kobayashi Issa was a prolific Japanese poet of the Edo period. Considered a master of his genre, his works are revered for their humour, sensitivity, and intelligence.

Issa spent a lot of time writing about nature, and his poems are filled with vivid descriptions of various flora, animals, and natural settings. As he was interested in the human psyche, his writing also explores themes of loss, grief, and the fleeting nature of life.

Issa endured a number of personal catastrophes, such as the loss of his children and a fire that destroyed his home, but he never wavered in his devotion to his craft and wrote up to the time of his passing. His works have received numerous translations and are still praised for their exquisiteness and enduring truths.

Everything I touch

by Kobayashi Issa

‘Everything I touch’ by Kobayashi Issa is a beautiful Japanese haiku written by one of the four great haiku masters. This piece speaks on what one might receive in return when they reach out with tenderness.

This poem is the poet's best-known and widely regarded as his masterpiece. Kobayashi Issa was a famous haiku poet from Japan. His poetry is characterized by its simplicity, sensitivity, and insight into the human condition. His works often touch on themes of nature, love, and suffering, and reflect his deep compassion for all living things. In this specific poem, he speaks to nature as well as a human desire for companionship.

Everything I touch

with tenderness, alas,

pricks like a bramble

O snail

by Kobayashi Issa

‘O snail’ by Kobayashi Issa is a well-known poem that celebrates nature while also inspiring readers to take their time to overcome great obstacles. 

Kobayashi Issa was a prominent Japanese poet of the 18th century known for his haiku poems that captured the essence of everyday life and nature. In 'O snail,' Issa's poetry reflects his keen observation and appreciation for the small wonders of nature, portraying the snail as a humble and resilient creature. This poem is widely considered to be his best.

O snail,

climb Mt. Fuji,

but slowly, slowly

The world of dew is, yes

by Kobayashi Issa

‘The world of dew is, yes’ by Kobayashi Issa should inspire readers to consider the meaning of life and the beauty of nature. 

This is a good, if somewhat confusing, example of Issa's poetry. His verse often evokes a sense of empathy and connection, showcasing his deep appreciation for the fleeting beauty found in the world. This is something that's seen, in an interesting way, within this poem.

The world of dew is, yes,

a world of dew,

but even so

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