Mercury day poetry: Issa haiku on the new year

New year, new poem. That is:

New Year’s Day–
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.

That’s from Kobayashi Issa. And, yes, I realize that we missed last week. I blame the holidays, but I feel above average.

Posted by Steve

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Mercury day poetry: Haiku by Issa

I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a yoga teacher read any haiku after a class, which as I think on it, is kind of surprising.

The simplicity, the union (yoga) of the images, the frequent focus on the natural world and the inner one all seem appropriate to those quiet moments in Shavasana.

Well, here’s a little in the way of changing that.

These are a set of haiku by Issa, as chosen and translated by former U.S. Poet Laurete Robert Hass:

    Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house
    casually.
***
    New Year’s Day—
everything is in blossom!
    I feel about average.
***
    The snow is melting
and the village is flooded
    with children.
***
    Goes out,
comes back—
    the love life of a cat.
***
    Mosquito at my ear—
does he think
    I’m deaf?
***
    Under the evening moon
the snail
    is stripped to the waist.
***
    Even with insects—
some can sing,
   some can’t.
***
    All the time I pray to Buddha
I keep on
   killing mosquitoes.
***
    Napped half the day;
no one
    punished me!
***
Posted by Steve