The Poet Basho (1744-94) chatting at a moonviewing festival,
from the series ‘100 Phases of the Moon’ by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

The haiku poet Basho came upon a haiku that he found to be cruel. In an act of Buddhist kindness, he revised it.

The poet Kikaku had written:

A red firefly
tear off its wings –
a pepper

Basho’s revision:

A pepper
give it wings –
a red firefly.

Basho: The Complete Haiku

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