On Bashō’s Frog

      by Sengai (1750–1837)

Under the cloud cliff, near the temple door,
Between dusky spring plants on the pond,
A frog jumps in the water, plop!
Startled, the poet drops his brush.


Translated by Lucien Stryk, from On Love and Barley: Haiku of Bashō (New York: Viking Penguin, 1985).