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A Hundred Gourds 3:1 December 2013
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The Black Kite Peeps


the black kite peeps,
peeps, the spirits, too,
perhaps make to depart

Issa


鳶ひよろひひよろ神の御立げな


spread, red fall of leaves
like sacred prayer strips

Ippyō


ちれちれもみぢぬさのかはりに


big straw sandals
small straw sandals,
holding them to my feet

Ippyō


大草鞋小草鞋足にくらべ見て


the number one boat -
a tabby cat flung on board

Issa


一番ぶねにはふるぶちねこ


there’s the moon!
the harvest moon!

all by a blaze of wrack

Issa


あくた火もそれ名月ぞ名月ぞ


that child nibbling taro
backs up the regime?

Ippyō


芋喰ふわらは御代を贔屓か


* * * *




with a swift shuffle
the equinox sutras
duly opened out

Ippyō


彼岸経さらさらさつと埒あけて


packed up in stout grass
the daub for the walls

Issa


草の広葉につつむ壁つち


morning glory
seed-sowing day
is hectic one indeed

Ippyō


あさがほの種まく日とていそがしや


borrowing the child
for a free-day spree at home

Issa


子をかりて来てさわぐ藪入


absent, absent
the heat haze shimmers
round Ōbaku Temple

Ippyō


留守留守と陽炎もゆる黄檗寺


they sell in ones and twos:
maps of the mountains

Issa


ちらりほらりとうれる山の図


tranquilly
a world of chrysanthemums
has begun to burgeon

Ippyō


泰平と天下の菊が咲 たちて


even in the slum block
a moonlit night for me!

Issa


三百店もわが月夜かな


somewhat chilly
on the bench, following
a game of shōgi

Ippyō


うそ寒の腰かけ将棋覗くらん


oh, a promoted piece …
tap-tapping at a drum

Issa


すはや御成とふれる小鼓


blossom-viewing pence
splurged all about
Sumida River

Ippyō


花の銭こぼれかかりし隅田川


coming through the mist
isn't that Kikaku?

Issa


霞んで来るはれいの其角か




Kobiyashi Issa 小林一茶 – 1763-1827: An important haikai poet who is well known today for his prominent hokku.

Kawahara Ippyo 川原一瓢 – 1771-1840: A Nicheren priest and one of Issa’s most important patrons.

A translation by John E. Carley, Rossendale, Lancashire, England


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