A poet-priest of the late Edo period, Ryokan (1758-1831) was the most important Japanese poet of his age. This volume contains not only the largest English translation yet made of his principal poems, but also an introduction that sets the poetry in its historical and literary context and a biographical sketch of the poet himself. After studying Zen for more than ten years, Ryokan spent most of his life as a recluse. He left some fourteen hundred waka (Japanese poems) and four hundred kanshi (Chinese poems). Included here are approximately one-seventh of the former and half of the latter, as well as DEW DROPS ON A LOTUS LEAF, in which the nun Teishio relates a brief history of her associaton with Ryokan as her poetic and spiritual teacher.