haiku friday

南北の・夜の通風に・祇園囃子

なんぼくの・よのつうふうに・ぎおんばやし

The wind carries it through the night, from north to south – the Gion music.

山口誓子・1958

haiku friday

行く雁の・啼くとき宙の・感ぜられ

ゆくかりの・なくときちゅうの・かんぜられ

The call of wild geese returning: the impression of the sense of space.

山口誓子・1947

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Adapted from the notes:

感ぜられ is from 感ず, the classical equivalent of 感じる. The passive form of the verb implies that the feeling arose spontaneously, and the speaker neither intended nor expected it.

haiku friday

雪敷きて・海に近寄る・こともなし

ゆきしきて・うみにちかよる・こともなし

A carpet of snow ・ keeping me from going close ・ to the ocean’s edge.

山口誓子・1941

Notes:

敷きて is the old ーて form of 敷く.

haiku friday

落葉松は・直幹落葉・しつくして

からまつは・ちょくかんおちば・しつくして

Vertical tree trunks with all their needles fallen – larches in winter.

山口誓子・1974

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I found the grammar and vocabulary notes for this haiku quite interesting, so I will include them here as well.

  • 落葉松 (“larch”) is written with kanji meaning “fall”, “leaf”, and “pine”; so, “pine that drops its needles”, or a deciduous pine.  All trees of the pine family have 松 in their name, and their needles are referred to as 葉, the same kanji/word used for the leaves of broad-leaved trees.
  • 直幹 is literally “straight trunk”.  So 落葉松は直幹 is “the larches are straight-trunked”, or “the larches show their straight trunks”.
  • おちば is the usual reading for 落葉, “falling/fallen leaves”.
  • しつくして is the ーて form of しつくす; し is from する (“do”), and ーつくす is a verb suffix meaning “[do] fully/completely”.  落葉 followed by a form of する makes a verb, “to drop (its/their) leaves”, so 落葉しつくして means “having fully dropped its/their leaves”.

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Taken, as always, from The Essence of Modern Haiku.

haiku friday

幾十年・使い来し身の・露に濡れ

いくじゅうねん・つかいきしみの・つゆにぬれ

This corporal frame that I have used for decades is now wet with dew.

山口誓子・1953

Grammar note:

使い来し is equivalent to the modern 使って来た, indicating that the action has occurred continuously and still continues.

haiku friday

I couldn’t possibly miss posting a haiku today.  The reason is today is haiku day!  It’s so called because the digits 8/19 can be read はいく.  For more about this sort of number/word play, see Shoujiki Shindoi’s post here.

The feeling of the seasons is very important to haiku, so I always try to pick one that reflects the mood of the weather on the day.  Today there is just a hint of early autumn in the air.  Just as we in the West think of the “harvest moon”, the moon is peculiarly associated with autumn in Japan.  Maybe you would like to read more about 月見?

水盤の・ぐるりに月を・滴らす

すいばんの・ぐるりにつきを・したたらす

Everywhere about the copper lotus basin, moonlight is dripping.

山口先生 says of this poem:

“One moonlit night, I climbed a mountain to an old temple.  Beside the temple staircase was a copper basin in the shape of a lotus, with water dripping from its brim.  The moon lit up the water, making the basin drip moonlight.”

山口誓子・1966

 

haiku friday

滝川の・中行く登山・道なれば

たきかわの・なかゆくとざん・みちなれば

Since this mountain road goes up a rushing river, I climb a river.

山口誓子・1966