Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

The past, the future――

snowlight faintly glows

 

Taneda Santōka

From Sōmokutō (Grass and Tree Pagoda, 1940). After a troubled and stormy youth, Santōka in middle age became a Buddhist priest, From 1925 until shortly before he died in 1940, he roamed Japan as a begging monk. This haiku, titled “Return,” is from mid-December, 1939, when he had finally settled down in Matsuyama City in a little house he called “A Blade of Grass.” The past and the future, it hints, are boundless and vast, but a faint light shines on both, like the dim glow given off by snow at night. Ten months after moving into A Blade of Grass, Santōka died.

 

こしかたKoshikataゆくすゑyukusue

yukiあかりakariするsuru

種田山頭火(たねだ さんとうか)

『草木塔』(昭一五)所収。波乱の前半生ののち出家得度した山頭火は、大正末年から昭和十五年の死の直前にいたるまで、日本中を一笠一杖の身で漂泊しつづけた。これは十四年十二月半ば、松山市に仮寓一草庵を得てやっと定住した時の句で、「帰居」と前書きする。来し方も行く末も茫洋、しかしそこに窓の雪あかりに似たほのかな光がさしている、と。一草庵に入って十ヵ月後、彼は死んだ。