The Super Fun Kids' Graphic Novel Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | September 21, 2015

    Annie Jacobsen: IMG Mirrors on the Moon: A Reporter's Story about Sources and Secrets in the Modern World

    As a national security reporter, I write about war, weapons, security, and secrets. The question most commonly asked of me is, "How do you get... Continue »
    1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list


On Order

New Hardcover
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Poetry- A to Z

This title in other editions

Haiku Before Haiku: From the Renga Masters to Basho (Translations from the Asian Classics)


Haiku Before Haiku: From the Renga Masters to Basho (Translations from the Asian Classics) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

While the rise of the charmingly simple, brilliantly evocative haiku is often associated with the seventeenth-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, the form had already flourished for more than four hundred years before Basho even began to write. These early poems, known as hokku, are identical to haiku in syllable count and structure but function differently as a genre. Whereas each haiku is its own constellation of image and meaning, a hokku opens a series of linked, collaborative stanzas in a sequence called renga.

Under the mastery of Basho, hokku first gained its modern independence. His talents contributed to the evolution of the style into the haiku beloved by so many poets around the world& mdash;Richard Wright, Jack Kerouac, and Billy Collins being notable devotees. Haiku Before Haiku presents 320 hokku composed between the thirteenth and early eighteenth centuries, from the poems of the courtier Nijo Yoshimoto to those of the genre's first professional master, Sogi, and his disciples. It features 20 masterpieces by Basho himself. Steven D. Carter introduces the history of haiku and its aesthetics, classifying these poems according to style and context. His rich commentary and notes on composition and setting illuminate each work, and he provides brief biographies of the poets, the original Japanese text in romanized form, and earlier, classical poems to which some of the hokku allude.

Product Details

Carter, Steven D.
Columbia University Press
Asian - General
Asia - Central Asia
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Translations from the Asian Classics
Publication Date:

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
History and Social Science » World History » General

Haiku Before Haiku: From the Renga Masters to Basho (Translations from the Asian Classics) New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$98.95 Backorder
Product details 144 pages Columbia University Press - English 9780231156486 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at