Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Autumn breeze

Come, string a bow of

Unavarnished wood!

Mukai Kyorai

An autumn poem from Wild Fields in the Bashō Shichibu Shū. Kyorai was one of Bashō’s closest disciples.  Elegant, gentle, and also hard working, he was accomplished in the martial arts. A bow of unvarnished wood, not even wound about with rattan― to its whiteness, fresh as the autumn breeze, he attached a bowstring, and with intense pleasure aims straight at the target. In oart because it hints at the author’s own personality, this because Kyosai’s best known poem. When Natsume Sōseki taught high school in Kumamoto, Terada Torajiko, then his student but later to become a scientist and also a member of Sōseki’s literary circle, asked advice on how to compose haiku. Sōseki gave this poem as an example pg what the beginner should strive for.

秋風やAkikaze yaしらきの弓にshiraki no yumi ni弦はらんtsuru haran

向井去来(むかいきょらい)

『芭蕉七部集』中『嚝野』所収の秋の句。芭蕉の高弟。清雅な人柄の努力家で、武芸のたしなみがあった。漆も塗らず籐もまかない白木の弓、さわやかな秋風の白さそのままのこの弓に、弦を張って的に真向う緊張と快さ。作者の人柄をほうふつとさせるためもあって去来の代表作となった。夏目漱石は熊本の五高教師時代、俳句初心の生徒、のちの科学者で漱石門の文人となる寺田寅彦に句の心得を問われ、佳句の例としてこれをあげたという。