Thursday, April 28, 2005

Teeth, eyes and more one !

teeth to harden

David English
teeth to harden this New Year's meal...not even one

-Issa Year unknown

sakuo Japanese
歯固めの 新年の食事 一つなし
hagatame no sinnen no syokuji hitotu nasi

Issa Original
かたむべき歯は一本も なかりけり
katamu beki ha ippon mo nakari keri

Similar haiku of teeth hardening
imitating others hardening their teeth tofu for me

David Comment
The "for me" has been added. Issa is referring to the New Year's tooth-hardening meal. He (or someone) is toothless and so must resort to tofu for the occasion.

sakuo Question
I don't know and don't hear the custom of teeth hardening.
That would be done on the New Year's meal.
Issa has lost all his teeth at the age of 50 years old . The last tooth has been lost at Futtu .Issa wrote this haiku with his sneering at himself.

Issa site

1 comment:

Bill said...

I just wanted to tell you again how much I enjoy my frequent visits to your blog. Issa is one of the world's great poets—certainly among the most humane—and your presentation of him is delightful.