How much you enjoy this work will depend I think on your individual path to Haiku, whose translations you may have read first and your own experience and perhaps practice of English language haiku.
I find that I have a preference for the translations that I am most familiar with and so Miura is at a disadvantage for a great number of the included classic master’s (Basho, Issa, Buson, Shiki) Haiku that I had experienced previously.
That’s not to say that there weren’t a number that I thought (and could still change my mind on) were interesting additions. Compare the following:
Calm and serene
The sound of a cicada
Penetrates the rock.
- Basho (trans. Miura)
a single cicada’s cry
sinking into stone
- Basho (trans. Hamill)
What was a welcome addition to my reading and knowledge was the inclusion of lesser known (in the West at least) but still historically significant later masters like Kyoshi, and Dakotsu:
Taking a bath in a tub
Is coveted by a crow.
The 100 or so haiku are set out in seasonal format, including a section on New Year’s. Each poem is written in English, Romaji and Japanese script, one poem to a page with attendant calligraphy or sumi-e painting. When a poet’s work is introduced a short biographical note is attached.
Though by all means easy for a novice to read, I do wonder if this work might provided more interest for someone with a fair bit of Haiku reading under their belt. A worthy addition to your Haiku collection, though perhaps not a must have.