Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) grew up in a state of poverty and neglect. He wrote poems that are crass, playful, and full of compassion for the unnoticed and undignified. In A Taste of Issa, David G. Lanoue writes, “Issa is a poet who speaks to our common humanity in a way that is so honest, so contemporary, his verses might have been written this morning. While Basho is the most revered of the haiku poets of Old Japan, Issa is the most loved.”