Archives for posts with tag: frog haiku

by Matsuo Basho
Translated by Allen Ginsberg

The old pond
A frog jumped in,

ART: “Good Fortune” by RHRussell. Original art available at


Matsuo Basho‘s frog poem is illustrated in this canvas print, available in various sizes at This translation of the poem reads:

A lonely pond in age-old stillness sleeps . . .
Apart, unstirred by sound or motion . . . till
suddenly into it a lithe frog leaps.

Frog Haiku
by Matsuo Basho
Translated by Alan Watts

The old pond,
A frog jumps in:

IMAGE: Fan painting of a frog (detail), Kano school (15th-19th century)


People who follow the Silver Birch Press blog know that we love to pursue themes — and explore many facets of one particular idea or subject. As summer gets under way, frogs have been on my mind — and, for many, their call signifies the warm season. In reading Matsuo Basho‘s famous Frog Haiku recently, I found that there are many translations of the same few lines. During the coming weeks, we’ll feature some of these translations each day.

Basho’s Frog Haiku in the original Japanese:

Furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

Translation by D.T. Suzuki:

Into the ancient pond

the frog jumps.

Water sound!

IMAGE: “Frog and gold beetle” by Kitagawa Utamaro (1788).