Sunday, April 13, 2008

the whole town

David’s Englsh
the whole town sleeps
while the cormorants

Issa 1817
hito mura ya u ni kasegasete yu^makura

Issa ends the haiku with the image, yu^makura ("night pillows"). A more literally faithful but harder to picture translation would be: the whole town-- while the cormorants are made to work night pillows Japanese fishermen use cormorants. Tied to a tether, these sea birds dive for fish that they are forced to disgorge.


sakuo renku and renga
ituno yo mo zei wo toru hito torareru hito

In every generation
there are tax robbers
and taxpayers

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