The Old Pond Poem by Matsuo Basho

The Old Pond

Rating: 3.4


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

Monday, January 13, 2003
Topic(s) of this poem: haiku
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Fabrizio Frosini 21 January 2016

___________________ ??????????? ___________________ furu ike ya / kawazu tobikomu / mizu no oto an ancient pond / a frog jumps in / the splash of water [1686]

157 6 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 11 November 2016

'' old pond — / a frog jumps in / the sound of water '' Basho's bright intuition... the frog jumping into the metaphysical sound of water...

50 9 Reply
Ken E Hall 15 March 2010

The old frog preserved Frozen in cold immortality Basho's simplicity Thankyou for putting this haiku in my head

10 21 Reply
Dick Sanders 23 February 2005

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

7 24 Reply
STRICTLY ANONYMOUS 30 March 2022

Its a beautifil and amazing poem. It has brought me to piece after my pokemon cards were burned. It makes me miss froakie though.

0 0 Reply
Anonymous 02 November 2021

Does anyone know how this can turn into a narrative?

0 0 Reply
Replying to Anonymous 04 November 2021

You can't. the whole point of a haiku is to have no plot, just capture a moment.

0 0 Reply
Hi 19 April 2021

It was really fun and I could read it over and over again

1 1 Reply
i am someone TUT 31 March 2021

i like it

2 1 Reply
i am someone TUT 31 March 2021

i dont get it though but it is okay

1 3 Reply

Matsuo Basho

Iga Province / Japan
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