Masaoka Shiki is one of my favorite haiku poets.
Masaoka Shiki or Tsunenori (1867-1902) was a master haiku and tanka poet born in Matsuyama, Japan. His father served the Matsuyama domain in the lower rank of samurai. When he was twenty-two, he began coughing up blood and adopted the pen name “Shiki”, the name of a bird that,according to legend, coughs blood as it sings. He reformed haiku through the introduction of a new style of haiku based on “Shasei” or sketches from life.
furusato wa itoko no ooshi momo no hana
many cousins —
nakiyamete tobutoki semi no miyuru nari
the singing stopped
a flying cicada
I saw it!
gojo arite nochi no otoko ya hatsunobori
It’s a boy
after five daughters
furusato ya oya sukoyakani sushi no aji
parents are well
taste of sushi
nowaki no yo fumi yomu kokoro sadamarazu
on a stormy night
while reading a book
samukeredo sake mo ari yu mo aru tokoro
it is cold, but
we have sake
and the hot spring
kuroki madeni murasaki fukashi budo kana
Haiku translation courtesy of Kimiyo Tanaka