Source: Wikimedia Commons
I've been reading The Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson, translated by W. S. Merwin and Takako Lento. The collection was put together just after Buson's death in 1784. Such brief verse can evoke a landscape through metonymy but rarely makes you think immediately of landscape views like the Buson painting above, the Met's Travels Through Mountains and Fields. I did notice a general exception to this rule though and it occurs when fiels are the subject of the poem - you can't really talk about a field without evoking a landscape. There are 868 haiku in the volume so I think it is probably OK under fair use to reproduce just four here, one for each season. For spring it is a toss-up between numbers 58, 140 and 183 but I'll go for the first, which actually has a 'landscape' title, 'Looking across the Field'.
Mist in the grass
the water silent
just before sunset
This summer poem, no. 317, also has a title, 'On the Way Home from Seeing the Nunobiki Waterfall with Tairo and Kito'. Tairo and Kito were his disciples. Nunobiki Waterfall I have mentioned here before in connection with The Tales of Ise (c. 900).
Evening sun slipping behind the hills
a waterwheel is turning
in the field of ripening wheat
The autumn poem, no. 487, is again set at sunset
The mountains darken after the sun goes down
in the twilight there is a field
of silver grass
And finally, no. 742, winter
Vast dry field
out in the desolation
the sun slips into the rock
Clearly these are all variations on a theme: the field and the sunset are constants, but the atmosphere is different in each poem.
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