May 14, 2022

Poetry by Ryōkan Taigu (7 Haiku Poems)

Ryōkan Taigu (良寛大愚) (1758–1831) was a quiet and unconventional Sōtō Zen Buddhist monk

Ryōkan Taigu of Japan (18th century), was a quiet, eccentric Zen Buddhist monk whose name means "broad-hearted generous fool", qualities that his life and work embodied. Ryokan didn’t like to be considered a "poet." He once said “When you know that my poems are not poems, Then we can speak of poetry”. The form of poetry Ryokan practiced so perfectly reflected his life - clear, present, simple and disciplined. It is inspired by nature, his daily chores, lonely winters, begging for food and playing with the local village children.