Basho’s “Distant in the clouds”

My Translation

Distant in the clouds
My friend is like a wild goose—
Living yet not here


A distant cloud,
My friend, the wild goose—
Fleetingly apart

Original Japanese



Kumo to hedatsu
Tomo ka ya kari no
Iki wakare


Cloud that’s away
Friend and wild goose of
Alive separation

Note: the pronunciation of “wild goose’s separation” is “kari no wakare” which is the same pronunciation as “temporary separation” but with different kanji, thus giving a double meaning.

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