The complete title of this book is “Baseball Haiku – American and Japanese Haiku and Senryu on Baseball”, Edited with Translations by Cor van den Heuvel & Nanae Tamura. It was published in 2007.

Baseball is big in Japan. Haiku are also big in Japan. Put the two together and what do you get? “Baseball Haiku”!

First, a few words about haiku. Haiku are a form of Japanese poetry. Some of the common practices of English Language Haiku are:

  • 3 (or fewer) lines of 17 (or fewer) syllables
  • use of a season word (kigo)
  • use of a cut – to contrast & compare 2 events, images or situations
  • It is said that Haiku “show” as opposed to “tell”.
  • Haiku use an economy of words to paint a multi-tiered painting, without “telling all”.

Here is an example of a “typical” Japanese “explanation”:

The haiku which reveals 70 – 80% of its subject is good. Those that reveal 50 – 70% we never tire of.

So, the front cover of the book claims that “Baseball Haiku” contains “The Best Haiku Ever Written About The Game”. I can tell you that the book contains over 200 Haiku suggested by the subject of baseball.

I went through and read the entire book. I am going to share two of my favorite baseball haiku from this collection:

rainy night
a hole in the radio
where a ballgame should be


dog days of summer
twenty-three games
out of first

I enjoyed reading the haiku themselves, and I enjoyed reading about the haiku artists, too.

“Baseball Haiku” is divided into 3 sections titled “American Baseball Haiku and Senryu”, “Japanese Baseball Haiku”, and “Extra Innings”.

“Extra Innings” includes a discussion of American and Japanese Baseball, a Baseball and Haiku Book List, and an Index of Poets.

I recommend “Baseball Haiku” to anyone who appreciates baseball in the context of nature, and who wants to conjure up word pictures of the same.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

I'm a third generation cubs fan, living in southeastern Wisconsin.