The cry of the cicada by Matsuo Basho

Translated by William George Aston and published in A History of Japanese Literature, Chapter IV (1899). The cry of a cicada was written by Matsuo Basho in 1690. Basho was considered the master of the haiku poetry form.

The cry of the cicada
Gives us no sign
That presently it will die.
Japanese: (やがてしぬけしきはみえずせみのこゑ) yagate shinu / keshiki wa miezu / semi no koe


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