Just as They Are

by Sonojo

The willow is green, the flower is red:

In haiku leave things just as they are!

Going to Paradise is a good thing,

But to fall into Hell is also a matter of congratulation!

Sonojo was one of Bashō’s pupils, and lived from 1649 to 1723 (1664 to 1726 by another account). Eric Amann quotes this poem in The Wordless Poem (Haiku Canada, 1969, 1978).