Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Naturally my head bows !

still plum blossoms

David English
still plum blossomsmy head, by itselfbows

-Issa, 1821
59 years old. on January his second son died on his mother's back. On April his wife got sick of gout . At Zenkou-ji , the biggest Temple of Jyoudo Buddhist, his haiku board was displayed. His effort has been admitted in the area of north Sinano province.

sakuo Japanese
梅静か わが頭さえ 下がるかな
ume sizuka waga atama sae sagaru kana

Issa Original
ume shin to shite onozukara zu ga sagaru

David Comment
Or: "the head."
Issa bows to the quiet, still blossoms. More accurately, "the head, by itself" is bowing without conscious intention on the part of the poet. For this reason, I first translated zu ga sagaru literally as "the head bows," rather than "my head bows." However, Shinji Ogawa believes that this must be first person, "my head." Otherwise, he writes, "the haiku loses its intensity."

Issa site

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