Matsuo Basho is one of the great exponents of haiku. I hadn’t realized, until I read this work, that his poetry was grounded in his travels. Basho's ability to evoke a place and the traveler’s response to it reminds me of my favorite travel book: Robert Byron’s The Road to Oxiana.
Here’s an excerpt:
Set out to see the Murder Stone, Sessho-seki, on a borrowed horse, and the man leading it asked for a poem, “Something beautiful, please.”
The horse turns his head –
from across the wide plain,
a cuckoo’s cry
Sessho-seki lies in dark mountain shadow near a hot springs emitting bad gases. Dead bees and butterflies cover the sand.