UC Press is sharing harvest moon haiku in celebration of the Harvest Moon Festival and the forthcoming Bashō: The Complete Haiku of Matsuo Bashō, which offers 980 poems in English. Andrew Fitzsimons’ translation is the first to adhere strictly to form: all of the poems are translated following the syllabic count of the originals. This book also includes a number of Bashō’s headnotes. 


The life source and seed
   the sprouting taro again
     the mid-autumn moon

inochi koso / imodane yo mata / kyō no tsuki


Gazing at the sawn
   end of a freshly felled tree
     Tonight’s harvest moon

ki o kirite / motokuchi miru ya / kyō no tsuki


The Fifteenth, as the innkeeper had predicted, it rained

The Harvest Moon night
   the weather in the northlands

meigetsu ya / hokkoku biyori / sadamenaki



The summer has spread
   its heat to the Harvest Moon
     An airish evening

natsu kakete / meigetsu atsuki / suzumi kana

Learn more about Bashō: The Complete Haiku of Matsuo Bashō