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.



Byōgan no


yosamu ni oshite


tabine kana

松尾芭蕉(まつお ばしょう)