quote by Matsuo Basho

Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.

— Matsuo Basho

Remarkable Haiku quotations

Mountain-rose petals Falling, falling, falling now... Waterfall music

In the cherry blossom's shade there's no such thing as a stranger.

Giddy grasshopper Take care...do not leap and crush These pearls of dewdrop

The author of haiku should be absent, and only the haiku present.


Architecture is a discipline that takes time and patience.

If one spends enough years writing complex novels one might be able, someday, to construct a respectable haiku.

When composing a verse let there not be a hair's breath separating your mind from what you write; composition of a poem must be done in an instant, like a woodcutter felling a huge tree or a swordsman leaping at a dangerous enemy.

What I'm trying to do is to tell young people that I teach them how to breathe before I teach the haiku. That one breath, that one breath, because the haiku keeps you alive. It keeps you going. If you learn how to breath the haiku, you learn how to breathe. If you learn how to breathe, you're much healthier.

I often think of my work as visual haiku.

It is an attempt to evoke and suggest through as few elements as possible rather than to describe with tremendous detail.

Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.


He who creates three to five haiku poems during a lifetime is a haiku poet.

He who attains to completes ten is a master.

The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good.

Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of.

The only problem with Haiku is that you just get started and then

A book cover is a distillation. It is a haiku of the story.

Green grass breaks through snow, Artemis pleads for my help, I am so cool.


O snail Climb Mount Fuji But slowly, slowly!

April's air stirs in Willow-leaves...a butterfly Floats and balances

Meaning lies as much in the mind of the reader as in the Haiku.

What is the beauty of the haiku is that it is not simplistic.

The beauty of the haiku I just said is very complex. It reaches all the complexities of our life on this Earth. Peace - that's a very complex idea, peace, so we can't get it as human beings.

Why so scrawny, cat? Starving for fat fish or mice... Or backyard love?


Remember technology does not make good work.

You can still write a poem on a brown paper bag, and haiku is just as profound as the pyramids.

Awakened at midnight by the sound of the water jar cracking from the ice

Yoko [Ono] was showing me some of these Haiku in the original.

The difference between them and Long fellow is immense. Instead of a long flowery poem the Haiku would say 'Yellow flower in white bowl on wooden table' which gives you the whole picture.

Love taught me to die with dignity that I might come forth anew in splendor.

Born once of flesh, then again of fire, I was reborn a third time to the sound of my name humming haikus in heaven’s mouth.

The similarity between Van Gogh, Haiku poetry, and good photography is the concern for mortality. That things are very fleeting, that there are people who are more sensitive to death than others. The threat of time is of great concern to them. And the camera is a very appropriate instrument for many.


Some of my pictures are poem-like in the sense that they are very condensed, haiku-lik. There are others that, if they were poetry, would be more like Ezra Pound. There is a lot of information in most of my pictures, but not the kind of information you see in documentary photography. There is emotional information in my photographs.

The sun shines, snow falls, mountains rise and valleys sink, night deepens and pales into day, but it is only very seldom that we attend to such things. . . . When we are grasping the inexpressible meaning of these things, this is life, this is living. To do this twenty-four hours a day is the Way of Haiku. It is having life more abundantly.

I was satisfied with haiku until I met you, but now I want a Russian novel, a 50-page description of you sleeping.

The haiku reproduces the designating gesture of the child pointing at whatever it is (the haiku shows no partiality for the subject), merely saying: that!

A haiku is the expression of a temporary enlightenment, in which we see into the life of things.


These are some of the characteristics of the state of mind which the creation and appreciation of haiku demand: Selflessness, Loneliness, Grateful Acceptance, Wordlessness, Non-intellectuality, Contradictoriness, Humor, Freedom, Non-morality, Simplicity, Materiality, Love, and Courage.

The love of nature is religion, and that religion is poetry;

these three things are one thing. This is the unspoken creed of haiku poets.

Writing a picture book is like writing 'War and Peace' in Haiku.

To me, photography is not just a visual art, but something closer to poetry - or at least to some poetry, such as the haiku.

My first publication was a haiku in a children's magazine when I was 9 years old. I received one dollar for it! I gave the check to my dad for Christmas, and he framed it and hung it over his desk.

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