Waiting for the Snow: Winter Haiku

hai·ku 俳句 (n. pl. haiku also hai·kus)A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

No snowy Christmas this year in Belgium. Two of my favorite haiku to evoke the cosy winter feeling:nomoyamamo-joso
This poem was written by Jōsō Naitō (1662 – 1704), a pupil of Bashō. Imagine a wide landscape with rice fields and mountains. The falling snow literally “takes” the land by covering it all in white. Everything turns invisible, nothing’s left.

Famous haiku poet Bashō (1644-1694) wrote this poem in 1684. You can see the pun on the word kasa (笠/傘) clearly in the transcribed part. Kasa means umbrella, but is also a kind of bowl-shaped, big straw hat, very often worn in Bashō’s time.


Haiku found in:

– Tooren, J. van. Haiku : Een Jonge Maan : Japanse Haiku Van De Vijftiende Eeuw Tot Heden. Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 2000.

– Matsuo, Basho, and David Landis Barnhill. Basho’s Haiku : Selected Poems by Matsuo Basho. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004.

(I didn’t use the author’s translation, but my own one)


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