Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

The autumn wind …

She always wanted to pluck

the red flowers

 

Kobayashi Issa

From Ora ga Haru  (The Year of My Life). The prefatory note says: “Sato’s grave 35 days after her death.” Issa wrote this haiku when he visited the grave of his first daughter Sato, who died of smallpox in 1819 when she was only one year and one month old. Seeing the bright red flowers, he remembered how she had always wanted to pluck them. In the original Japanese, the subject of mushiritagarishi “wanted to pluck,” is unspecified, which, paradoxically, conveys the father’s dazed sadness all the more strongly. Having lost his first son two years earlier, just one month after birth, Issa had doted on Sato. And then she too was plucked away by the hand of fate.

 


秋風や

Akikaze ya



むしりたがりし

Mushiri-tagarishi



赤い花

akai hana

小林一茶(こばやし いっさ)

『おらが春』所収。前書に「さと女三十五日墓」とある。文政二年、生後四百日で疱瘡のため死んだ長女さとの三十五日の墓参の句である。赤い花をむしりたがったのは、もちろん死んだこの子。表現の上ではそれが伏せられているため、かえって茫然と悲しい親の気持ちが伝わるようだ。一茶は二年前、生後わずか一ヶ月の長男を死なせていたため、さとを溺愛した。その子もまた運命の手にむしり取られた。