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few words

haiku-grass.jpgThere’s an elegance in Japanese death poems — a certain lightness, no clutter or multi-tasking. Writing such lines was the traditional parting act of a samurai, haiku poet, or Zen monk. Wish I could live (and die) like that. 

This one’s by Manzan Dohaku:(1635-1714):

Cargoless,                                     Tsumimono ya
bound heavenward,                      nakute jodo e
ship of the moon.                          tsuki no fune

source: Hofffman, J. (1986). Japanese death poems. Boston:Tuttle.


One response »

  1. When autumn winds blow
    not one leaf remains
    the way it was.

    by Togyn

    this and others found at


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