This poem, sometimes known as ‘The world of dew,’ or ‘A world of dew,’ is a good example of the poet’s work but is also incredibly open-ended in a way that haiku usually aren’t.
While most haiku leave some room for interpretation, it’s often far more clear (than it is in this poem) what exactly the poet is getting at. Readers are more than likely going to feel a little confused after reading the three lines of Issa’s poem.
The world of dew is, yes Kobayashi IssaThe world of dew is, yes,a world of dew,but even so
‘The world of dew is, yes’ by Kobayashi Issa is a reflective poem about nature and the beauty to be found within it.
The poem discusses the world as “of dew.” This is likely alluding to its delicacy. The repetition of the phrase “a world of dew” highlights this fragility and reinforces the idea that life, like dew, is always changing.
The poet also suggests that there is still significance and beauty to be found within this impermanence.
Structure and Form
‘The world of dew is, yes’ by Kobayashi Issa is a three-line traditional haiku that was originally written in Japanese. The poem uses short, powerfully written lines to speak about life and nature, something that’s very common in the haiku form.
In this poem, the poet makes use of a few different literary devices. For example:
- Imagery: can be seen when the poet imbues their descriptions with sense-triggering images. For example, “The world of dew is, yes.”
- Allusion: the end of the poem alludes to something that is outside the poet’s grasp. It suggests that there is more to life besides it fleeting qualities.
- Repetition: can be seen when the poet repeats an element of their text. For example, “world of dew” is used twice, something that is incredibly significant in a haiku since this type of poem is so short.
The world of dew is, yes,
The first line of the poem is also commonly used as the title of the poem. The poet suggests in this line that the world, or perhaps the poet’s perception of the world, is characterized by the metaphor of dew.
Dew is a natural phenomenon that appears briefly in the early morning, forming delicate droplets on surfaces before evaporating as the day progresses. This metaphor implies that life itself is ephemeral and fleeting, just like dew.
The inclusion of the word “yes” after the comma adds emphasis and affirmation. It can be interpreted as the poet acknowledging and confirming the ever-changing nature of the world.
a world of dew,
The second line is quite short. It repeats the phrase “world of dew.” Therefore, reinforcing and expanding upon the metaphor introduced in the first line. It further emphasizes the notion that life is akin to dew, highlighting its temporary nature.
The line implies that everything in the world, just like dew, is subject to impermanence and will eventually fade away.
but even so
The last line of the poem is somewhat confusing and leaves readers with an interesting final tone. The line indicates a shift in perspective or a counterpoint to the preceding statements. It suggests that despite acknowledging the delicate nature of the world and describing it as dew, there is something more to be said or considered.
This line can be interpreted as the poet acknowledging that life’s temporary nature does not negate its value or significance. It implies that even though everything is subject to change, there is still meaning and beauty to be found. The line may inspire readers to consider what else there is to be discovered in the world and how one might put that into words.
The tone of this poem is contemplative and reflective. It may inspire readers to consider the nature of life and the meaning of everyday natural occurrences.
The poem is about the ephemeral and delicate nature of existence. It uses the metaphor of dew to convey the idea that life is fleeting.
The main theme of the poem is that life is delicate, temporary, and incredibly beautiful. The poem explores the notion that despite the brevity and fragility of existence, there is still beauty, meaning, and worth to be found within the fleeting moments.
The ending of the poem leaves room for interpretation. It can be seen as an open-ended conclusion that encourages readers to reflect on their own understanding of life and the significance they derive from it. The ending suggests that there is more to be contemplated beyond the surface-level understanding of life.
Readers who enjoyed this poem should also consider reading some other Kobayashi Issa poems. For example: