a man for all seasons: 1906
sore uma ga uma ga to ya iu oya suzume
"Watch out for that horse!
mother sparrow calls
waga io ya akutare karasu yase botan
at my hut--
kasumu zoyo matsu ga sambon meoto-zuru
in spring mist
three pines, two cranes
husband and wife
tori mo naki chô mo tobi keri furu tatami
old tatami mat
Or: "a butterfly flitting." Shinji Ogawa points out that naki means "sang" in this haiku, not, as I originally thought, "devoid of."
With his correction, the haiku now makes perfect sense.
Issa sits on his old tatami mat, enjoying the spring day along with the birds and butterflies.
tori no su ni akewatashitaru iori kana
to the nesting birds...
Issa ends this haiku, simply, with "hut" (iori kana). In a revision four years later (in 1824), he clarifies his meaning by ending the haiku with "the hut that is empty because its owner is away" (rusu no io). Issa is leaving his hut for a while, generously offering it to nesting birds. Shinji Ogawa notes that the verb akewatashitaru denotes Issa's abandoning or surrending his hut.
kyô mo kyô mo damatte kurasu ko kamo kana
keeping perfectly quiet...
tabi-gasa wo chiisaku miseru kasumi kana
their traveling hats
ao no ha wa shiohi nagure no karasu kana
some stay behind
in the green leaves...
low tide crows
Nagure is the same as nagori ("vestiges," "remains"); see Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 1213. The crows at low tide are doing the same thing as their human counterparts: looking for shellfish. A few linger behind in trees and field.
chikazukeba [kyû] ni sabishiki momiji kana
drawing near them
a sudden loneliness
yuki no hi ya dô ni gisshiri hato suzume
on a snowy day
the temple is packed...
many continued thank yous to the amazing david g lanoue and his glorious issa pages, revealing the poet's humanity, humor, and the nature and customs of his world.
as is obvious, i have not yet been able to find a july for 1906 yet.
will remedy and announce when i do.