Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Deutzia flowers

and a dappled horse

at dawn

Morikawa Kyoriku

From Sumidagawa (Charcoal Sack). Titled“On a trip.”Kyoriku, a disciple of Basho’s last years, was a samurai of the 300-koku fief of Hikone and a man of many talents. This poem seems to have been written on his way back to Hikone from Edo in early May,1693. The poem’s center is the juxtaposition fo the horse’s black and brown speckled whiteness with the fresh white of the flowers by the side of the road. The time is dawn, and the mood of early summer permeates the scene. This reminds me; I have yet to encounter a contemporary haiku which treats the everyday event of setting off on a trip at dawn___not by horse, of course, but by car___in this refreshing way.

卯の花にunohana ni蘆毛の馬のashige no uma no夜明哉yoakekana

森川許六(もりかわきょろく)

『墨俵』所収。「旅行に」と題する。許六は芭蕉最晩年の弟子で多才な論客だった。三百石の彦根藩士で、これは元禄六年五月はじめ江戸をたち彦根に帰った時の作らしい。「蘆毛」は白池に黒や濃褐色のさし毛のある馬で、道沿いに咲く卯の花の鮮やかな白との色の取り合わせが眼目。しかも夜明けだ。初夏の気分が溢れている。そういえば、夜明けに馬ではなく、自動車で旅立つような現代の日常の情景を爽やかに詠んだ現代の句はまだ知らない。