While we’re on the subject of Matsushima, this haiku is also said to be by Basho, but it’s most likely not. Some people think Monk Tahara wrote it but, in reality, nobody knows. It’s also said that originally the second line was “Sate Matsushima” but it has been changed.
Literal Translation and Pronunciation
Aaah Matsushima ya
The haiku expresses someone overwhelmed by the beauty of Matsushima, so he can’t write anything about it other than oohs and aahs. It’s kind of comic to imagine a haiku poet there looking at the view and trying to come up with a haiku, but all he can say is aah and ya.
In that way, I’ll write my homage to the feeling of walking Manhattan’s streets:
Likewise I could write something like that about New Jersey:
New Jersey, oh no…
What the hell, it’s New Jersey
New Jersey, oh shit!