Monday, January 30, 2006

all my inventries are in my heart!

Issa Original
1823 age 61
san-zun no mune de sumu nari tana oroshi

David's English
I'm alive
with a three-inch heart...
New Year's inventory

David's Comment
Tana oroshi is a beginning-of-the-year inventory, where merchants examine their stock on hand and enter its value into the account book; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 1013. Here, Issa inventories himself, counting his "heart" (mune) at a size of 3 sun. Since 1 sun = approximately 1.2 inches, 3 sun = around 3.6 inches.

sakuo Renku
all seeds of haiku
excises in my chest

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