Matsuo Basho

(1644 - 1694 / Iga Province / Japan)

The Old Pond - Poem by Matsuo Basho

Following are several translations
of the 'Old Pond' poem, which may be
the most famous of all haiku:

Furuike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

- Basho



Literal Translation

Fu-ru (old) i-ke (pond) ya,
ka-wa-zu (frog) to-bi-ko-mu (jumping into)
mi-zu (water) no o-to (sound)


Translated by Fumiko Saisho



The old pond-
a frog jumps in,
sound of water.


Translated by Robert Hass



Old pond...
a frog jumps in
water's sound.


Translated by William J. Higginson



An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.


Translated by Harry Behn



There is the old pond!
Lo, into it jumps a frog:
hark, water's music!


Translated by John Bryan



The silent old pond
a mirror of ancient calm,
a frog-leaps-in splash.


Translated by Dion O'Donnol



old pond
frog leaping
splash


Translated by Cid Corman



Antic pond-
frantic frog jumps in-
gigantic sound.


Translated by Bernard Lionel Einbond



MAFIA HIT MAN POET: NOTE FOUND PINNED TO LAPEL
OF DROWNED VICTIM'S DOUBLE-BREASTED SUIT! ! !

'Dere wasa dis frogg
Gone jumpa offa da logg
Now he inna bogg.'

- Anonymous


Translated by George M. Young, Jr.



Old pond
leap - splash
a frog.


Translated by Lucien Stryk



The old pond,
A frog jumps in:.
Plop!


Translated by Allan Watts



The old pond, yes, and
A frog is jumping into
The water, and splash.

Translated by G.S. Fraser

Topic(s) of this poem: haiku

Form: Haiku


Comments about The Old Pond by Matsuo Basho

  • (6/30/2018 5:38:00 PM)


    The water in this old pond symbolizes wisdom.
    A frog jumps in the pond.
    The only sound heard is of the water, not the frog.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (4/27/2018 10:08:00 AM)


    what is the moral or theme of this poem. I need help ASAP (Report) Reply

  • (4/10/2018 7:54:00 AM)


    need sum help (Report) Reply

    (4/25/2018 12:44:00 PM)

    There Was A Frog That Jumped Off A Log In A Bog.

  • (3/15/2018 4:27:00 PM)


    I first heard it this way:

    Old stone pond
    Tiny frog
    Kersplash!
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/15/2018 4:25:00 PM)


    I first heard it like this:

    Old stone pond
    Tiny frog
    Kersplash!
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/26/2018 7:50:00 AM)


    The anonymous one is flipping funny

    Dere wasa dis frogg
    Gone jumpa offa da logg
    Now he inna bogg
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/26/2018 7:12:00 AM)


    this pom was kind of confusing. (Report) Reply

  • (1/26/2018 7:09:00 AM)


    this poem is very interisting and cool (Report) Reply

  • (10/19/2017 8:33:00 PM)


    The old pond
    A crane comes flying
    Catches a fish
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/3/2017 1:11:00 PM)


    These interpretations still make me laugh.. (Report) Reply

  • (11/22/2016 7:18:00 PM)


    (The Old Pond - Poem by Matsuo Basho.) Love ‘The Old Pond’ haiku. (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/11/2016 8:16:00 AM)

    Basho's advice to his disciples: '' follow the 'zoka' '' (= the creative force of nature)
    '' old pond — / a frog jumps in / the sound of water ''

    Basho's bright intuition... the frog jumping into the metaphysical sound of water...
    (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (1/21/2016 7:42:00 AM)


    ___________________

    古池や蛙飛びこむ水の音
    ___________________

    furu ike ya / kawazu tobikomu / mizu no oto

    an ancient pond / a frog jumps in / the splash of water [1686]
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/9/2016 1:36:00 AM)


    Some old translators
    jump into a poem
    - splashing around.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/15/2010 3:43:00 AM)


    The old frog preserved
    Frozen in cold immortality
    Basho's simplicity

    Thankyou for putting this haiku in my head
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/16/2008 2:51:00 PM)


    Really reflective.I wrote some interpretations and I call it Basho's Haiku. (Report) Reply

  • (1/31/2007 7:26:00 PM)


    Ahhh, The Old Pond... I can´t find anything greater than this haiku. It combines eternity with temporary reality, movement with stillness, Universe with a single living been, silence with noise... and all of this in only three lines. Great, isn´t it? (Report) Reply

  • (2/23/2005 5:36:00 AM)


    The only translation worth the effort is that of Alan Watts. The euphony of the last line would have made the inscrutable Basho smile. (Report) Reply

  • (2/23/2005 5:35:00 AM)


    The only translation worth the effort is that of Alan Watts. The euphony of the last line would have made the inscrutable Basho smile. (Report) Reply

Read all 20 comments »




Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

Read poems about / on: frog, haiku, water, mirror, poem, music, silence



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, January 5, 2015


Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
[Report Error]