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Yes: the young sparrows

If you treat them tenderly —

Thank you with droppings.


Issa Kobayashi (1763 – 1828), one of the greatest Japanese traditional haiku poets.  I came across this poem quoted in a 1991 book, The Art and Practice of Loving, written by Frank Andrews.  (Name of translator of the poem not specified.)
A haiku is a short poem, its form originating in Japan some 500 years ago. Traditionally it consisted (usually, though not always) of 17 sound bytes (in English, this averages out to equal about 12 syllables) and was written in a single line. These days, particularly in the West, the poems appear in 3 lines, and often without strict adherence to length. There remains significant loyalty, however, to the stylistic prescription that the verse contain within it a turn of a sort, a juxtaposition of two images / thoughts / elements, often tying together in an unexpected way an observation from human life to one from the natural (non-human) world . . . I like to think of it as a perception of an intersection of nature and spirit in a single instant of time.