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Little frog

The Frog Great Haiku

  1. The splash of a frog
    Leaping into the water
    Disturbs the old pond
  2. The splash of a frog
    Its leap into the water
    New for the old pond
  3. Frog sinks in old pool
    Ever-increasing circles
    Spread from leaping splash
  4. Cause frog; splash effect—
    Ripples surge through the old pond
    Newly spread by leap
  5. Dive into old pond
    Through the rippling aftersplash
    Frog’s and poet’s eyes

    17 frogs
  6. Behold the old pond
    Its silence loudly disturbed
    When frog takes a plunge
  7. Pool forms a crater
    Then slurps its surface over
    —Swallows a frog-leap
  8. Pool rests undisturbed—
    Shimmering surface shattered
    By frog’s dive—ker-plash!
  9. Old pool long silent
    Reborn as sounding circles—
    Leapt upon by frog
  10. Old pond ancient pool
    Frog’s jump leap-frog croaker’s plunge
    Plop water sounds splash
  11. Silent I repose
    Amphibian leap tempts me—
    Swallow up frog—plop!
  12. There’s this old pool, yeah?
    And it makes with these sound things—
    Like this frog jumps, right?

    17 frogs
  13. The old pool—aha
    A frog leaps and plunges in
    The sound of water
  14. The sound of a frog
    In water—plunges and leaps
    The old pond—aha
  15. The old water sound
    And aha a frog of leaps
    Plunges in the pool
  16. The old water in
    The pool—aha, a frog leaps
    And sound of plunges
  17. The water sound of
    Plunges and the frog leaps in—
    A pool—aha—old
Bonsai tree
Bonsai tree

The last four haiku are, in fact, a working-through of a form of DIY haiku; the fourteen words of the "conventional" treatment of Basho’s original in the first haiku of the final sequence of five are rearranged in a more or less indeterminate fashion, after the manner of composers such as Boulez; the reader is invited to continue the experiment.

II   The First Frog Great Senryu

  1. Two-sided surfaces
    I intersect with shock waves
    —Quick sound, slow ripples…
  2. …Even faster light
    Puts Basho in the picture
    —Haiku lasts longest
  3. Old pond dreams of youth
    Before noisy frog, Basho
    —One silent tadpole
  4. Haiku’s froggy start
    Second line no more than sound
    Then water finish!
  5. Basho drowns in pond
    Big splash—but then no body
    —The rest is frogmen

    17 frogs
  6. Full of roguish thoughts
    Told of challenge—and respond
    So understated
  7. Crawls from restaurant
    Bellyflops into old pond
    —Completely legless
  8. Basho awaits sound
    Mist resting on the old pond
    —Foggy froggy due?
  9. Frog bores hole in pond
    Splasho, Basho.  Had enough
    Grenouille ennui!
  10. Frog leaps in old pond
    Silently—but then she farts
    Basho got it wrong!
  11. Frog leaps in old pond
    With a sound like five soft gongs
    —Basho fast asleep!
  12. Frog leaps in old pond
    —Frozen solid since Tuesday
    Lands on head.  Basho!

    17 frogs
  13. Frog leaps in old pond
    Press release is not required
    —Only a sound-bite
  14. Frog sits by old pond
    Kermity meeting
  15. Post modern frog leaps
    Pond protests violation
    Basho plays back tape
  16. Ponderous event
    Playing a game of leap-frog
    Sound reasons for it
  17. Frog~pond~leap~Basho
    An interesting sound effect
    Zen see what happens!
Bonsai tree
Bonsai tree

III   The Second Frog Great Senryu

  1. A froglet, a leap,
    Not just a splash and a sound—
    Angry Soup Dragon
  2. Suddenly a lake
    Is shattered by tsunami—
    Megafrog leaps in
  3. Frog splash—old pond laps
    Rippling round the swallowed plunge—
    The rest is silence
  4. Suddenly awake,
    Basho’s dreamt a frog-dive’s splash
    The rest is silence
  5. Suddenly awake,
    Basho!  Frog’s just dived in pond
    The rest is silence

    17 frogs
  6. Suddenly awake,
    Basho!  Try to catch frog, pond,
    Or there’s no haiku
  7. Frog pissed as Newton’s
    Original gravity
    Falls in with a splash
  8. Will the frog jump? Bet!
    While, all the while, dragonflies
    Flutter on the pools
  9. The Leapfrog contest
    A resounding success says
    Our correspondent
  10. The first spring crocus
    Blooms by the old pond.  Then frogs
    —The first spring croakers
  11. Zen monks sit round pond
    Make bets on the next frog sound
    No cash?  Owe Basho
  12. Basho had his frog
    And Newton had his apple
    —Behold gravity!

    17 frogs
  13. Monks writing haiku
    When ten Zen men pen then yen!
    (Basho keeps profits)
  14. We behold the frog
    —Shotgun pellet right through him
    ‘He be holed, the frog’
  15. Once upon a time
    Frog dives too deep, too quickly
    Suddenly ear ache
  16. Once upon a time
    Frog leaps into the water
    Once a pond, a time
  17. The frog senryu ends
    Variations continue
    The pond is silent
Bonsai tree

IV   Cultural Variations

  1. If Shakespeare had heard it first

    All the pond’s a stage
    The frogs are merely players—
    Sound from the water
  2. On listening to the ‘naïve simplicity combined with heart-rending passion’ of a Janacek piano piece

    From overgrown path
    A frog leaps forlorn, soundless—
    Once there was a pond
Bonsai tree

V   A Triku Haiku Tale

One of the Basho Street Kids (Terimati’s Great Disciples) ‘explored bashofrogging trikully’, introducing the idea of narrative into one of the Great Master’s innovations, the triku (see "Beyond the Haiku").

Frog sitting quietly
Basho approaching noisily
Basho scaring Frog
Frog leaping suddenly
Frog splashing loudly
Frog inspiring Basho
Basho creating haiku
Haiku inspiring disciples
Disciples emulating Basho
Disciples creating variations
Variations comparing poorly
Variations multiplying daily
Haiku frustrating disciples
Disciples aping Basho
Disciples frustrating Basho
Disciples alienating Basho
Basho leaving disciples
Basho seeking solace
Basho finding pond
Basho approaching silently
Frog sitting quietly

Bonsai tree

This is nothing but
A little froggy picture
To round off the page.