Thursday, September 07, 2006
begger's party in grave yard
1795, age 33
kojjiki mo gomazu kumuran kyô [no] haru
even beggars toast
with sesame sake...
first of spring
I originally thought that this was a scene at a Shinto shrine. I was misled by the kanji with which Issa writes the word, goma; he uses the characters that signify "holy fire" instead of those that mean "sesame seeds." Shinji Ogawa set me straight. He adds that kumu, in this context, means "drink." The ending -ran changes the verb into a conjecture ("they may or may not be drinking"). In my re-translation, I use the verb "toast" in its simple, present tense, but Issa more exactly is saying, "perhaps even beggars may toast..." In English, the "perhaps" and "may" weaken the poem, so I've left them out.
sesame binegar is sake whick is used as secret language of priest.
ohaka de syougatu kojiki no paatii
New Year in the grave yard