Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Ill, a wild goose falls

cold in the night

the traveler’s sleep

 

Matsuo Bashō

From Sarumino(The Monkey’s Raincoat).The headnote says “At Katada.” A variant text has “At Katada, lying in pain.” The poem was written late in the autumn of 1670, when Bashō spent the night at Katada on Lake Biwa while on a journey. He lay on his cold and spartan bed, feeling unwell, and to his mind’s eye came the vision of a wild goose, sick and falling through the night sky. For an instant, the bird and Bashō himself seemed to be a single being, joined in the depths of a hushed night. The rhythm of the poem’s shift from yosamu ni ochite, “falls/cold in the night,to tabine kana, “the traveler’s sleep,” is artistic perfection itself.

 


病雁の

Byōgan no



夜さむに落て

yosamu ni oshite



旅ね哉

tabine kana

松尾芭蕉(まつお ばしょう)

『猿蓑』所収。「堅田にて」と前書。異本では「かただにふしなやみて」ともある。元禄三年晩秋、近江湖畔の堅田で旅寝した時の作。芭蕉は折悪しく体調も崩していたが、冷たい粗末な寝床に横たわる彼の心の目に、夜空から一羽の病気の雁が落下してくる幻が見えたのである。その雁と芭蕉自身が、一瞬二にして一となる、深沈たる夜の光景。「夜さむに落ちて」が「旅ね哉」へ転じる呼吸は、まさに至芸というほかない。