Monday, April 21, 2008

you fleas

David’s English
for you fleas
the night must be long...
and lonely?

nomi domo ga sazo yonaga daro sabishi karo

Issa, 1813, Age 51
Second Month, he is living in Kashiwabara in a rented house. In autumn, his inheritance dispute finally settled, he moves into his family home.

sakuo comment
At this time he decided to settle down in his native town, giving up his 37 years Edo life. But often he reminded his lively Edo life.

Friday, April 18, 2008

honorable ally

the yellow rose's
honorable ally...
a frog

yamabuki no o-mikata mo^[su] kawazu kana
by Issa, 1812

Sakuo’s comment
First line
[山吹 yamabuki ] has two means.
They are plant, a Japanese rose.
and color, bright golden yellow that means 小判 a koban;
a former Japanese oval gold coin.
If you prefer yellow rose, it has double season word.

Sakuo’s English
Koban the gold coin
honorable ally...
a frog

Sakuo renku and renga
旅の餞別 小判三両
tabi no senbetu koban san ryou

as a present of travel
three gold coin

David’s English

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

cats yowling

David’s English
cats yowling
separated by a wall--
tragic lovers

neko naku ya hei wo hedatete awanu koi
by Issa, 1824

Literally, the "lovers will not or do not meet" (awanu koi).

Sakuo  link picture.

Monday, April 14, 2008

the whole town second version

David’s English
the whole town sleeps
while the cormorants


sakuo renku and renga (second version)
The word cormorant always remind us exploitation by employer.
In first version it was[tax robber and taxpayer]
And second version is [ inn master and Oiran girls]

夜の吉原 鵜の稼ぎ時
yoru no Yoshihara uno kasegi doki

night at Yoshihara
the cormorants are busy

Yoshihara: sexual leisure palace in Edo
Cormorant (+fishing)

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