Friday, September 11, 2009

counting heads

Issa 一茶 1816 age 54

yu iri shu^ no atama kazoeru ko cho^ kana

David’s English

counting heads
in a hot tub...
little butterfly

Issa makes use of his two-part joke structure in this haiku. The first two phrases, "counting heads/ in a hot tub..." lead the reader to expect a human agent, but then he surprises us by revealing the counter to be a "little butterfly!" The butterfly seems to share in the happiness of the humans, soaking away their aches and troubles in hot water. It flits from head to head, taking roll. This haiku is one of the "essential" 188 picked by the translator.
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sakuo renga

haiku Issa

1 comment:

John McDonald said...

love this sakuo san