An old pond;
a frog jumps in:
the sound of water
- Basho

This comprehensive introduction to Japan's best-loved haiku poets is the perfect book for anyone wanting to learn about haiku. Compiled and with commentary by William Scott Wilson, the book features 26 poets and 550 haiku, exquisitely translated by Wilson.

The poets include Basho, Shiki, Buson and Issa (the 'Great Four') along with other well-known practitioners of the genre such as Ryokan, Kikaku and Chora. Wilson gives his own brand-new renditions of poems that are already known as classics, and also shares with us the delightful work of a number of poets who are rarely found in English translation, such as six female poets including Chiyojo and Hisajo, as well as novelist Natsume Soseki, who, unbeknown to many, also wrote haiku.

The book is divided into sections, each starting with a 2-4 page introduction to each poet, followed by a selection of that poet's haiku, in Japanese script and English translation. Online audio files are available with recordings of the poems in both English and Japanese