Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

For eyes, green leaves
Then the mountain cuckoo
and the first bonito

Yamaguchi Sodō

A good example of a poem everyone likes without knowing or caring who wrote it. Sodō was an Edo haiku poet who was a close friend of Bashō. He is said to have been well-versed in many arts. The prefatory note to this poem is “In Kamakura.” For the eyes, there are green leaves and for the ears, the cuckoo’s song: Kamakura has the freshest seasonal things of early summer. On top of that, for the tongue you have as well the first bonito. One of Kamakura’s famous products. What a refreshing place it is, he says. Edoites, who liked the first things of all seasons, took special delight in the first bonito.


山口素堂(やまぐち そどう)