Book of Haikus about a Japanese Poet


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today we are talking about haikus. I love a good haiku and love that they are relatively easy to write. A haiku is a simple three-line poem that usually follow a syllable rule (five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third). They started in Japan and are often about nature. Today I am sharing a new book (released today) about a Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho, and his journeys. Basho is generally known for making haikus a poetry genre. He lived in 1644-1694. After suffering some personal tragedy he went out on five long journeys which he recorded in travelogues. This book is about his journeys based from his travelogues. It is Basho's Haiku Journeys by Freeman Ng and illustrated by Cassandra Rockwood Ghanem. 

From the Publisher:

The 17th-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho practically invented the haiku. He's most famous for his travel journals. But how did he come to be such a traveler in the first place? This delightful volume--written entirely in haiku and illustrated with vibrant hand-painted scenes taken directly from the poet's written travelogues--tells the true story of Basho’s decision to abandon his comfortable city life and of the five great journeys he then took through the length and breadth of Japan.

From Me:

Appropriately enough the words are all in haiku. Although one does not get the minute details of Matsuo Basho's life through haikus, however haikus were a major part of his life. The book shares maps of his journeys as well as little details in the haikus and the illustrations. I love how many of the haikus share things he saw or the weather that occurred on the journey. Each shares a bit of Basho's experiences on each trip whether it was seeing bones on the road or having clouds block the full moon they traveled to see the small experiences are there. It even shares when he had travel companions.

The haikus are fun and the tale they tell is interesting. The illustrations are beautiful. Each page has an illustration and at least one haiku on each double page spread. At the end of the book is information about haikus as well as about Basho and has his first haiku! Be sure to check out book's page and the haiku contest that starts in January 2022! In the mean time check out the book and get working on those haikus! Mine for today:

Autumn wind blowing

dancing, swirling leaves float

colors everywhere