Sunday, March 23, 2008
watching first snowfall
in a rotten mood...
mutsukashi ya hatsu yuki miyuru shinano yama
by Issa, 1810
Issa's mountainous home province of Shinano, present-day Nagano Prefecture, is known for its hard, bitter winters. The haiku is ironic: poets in other locations look forward to the first snow as a joyous occasion; for Issa it's just plain hard. Mutsukashiki is an old word that can signify having a bad or unpleasant feeling; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 1597.
sakuo Renku & haiga
At his age 48, Issa began to dispute inheritance of his father’s asset.
His half brother’s family has strongly resisted.
yama no mukou ni kowai kaomatu
beyond the mountain