Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

For eyes, green leaves
Then the mountain cuckoo
and the first bonito

Yamaguchi Sodō

A good example of a poem everyone likes without knowing or caring who wrote it. Sodō was an Edo haiku poet who was a close friend of Bashō. He is said to have been well-versed in many arts. The prefatory note to this poem is “In Kamakura.” For the eyes, there are green leaves and for the ears, the cuckoo’s song: Kamakura has the freshest seasonal things of early summer. On top of that, for the tongue you have as well the first bonito. One of Kamakura’s famous products. What a refreshing place it is, he says. Edoites, who liked the first things of all seasons, took special delight in the first bonito.

(Me)(ni)(wa)青葉(aoba)(yama)時鳥(hototogisu)初鰹(hatsugatsuo)

山口素堂(やまぐち そどう)

作者名は関係なしに多くの人に愛誦されている句の代表格だろう。素堂は芭蕉と親交のあった江戸の俳人。諸芸に通じていた人という。句は「鎌倉にて」の前書がある。目のためには青葉、耳のためにはほととぎす、初夏の最もさわやかな景物が鎌倉にはある。それさえあるに、舌のためには鎌倉名物の初鰹までも加わって、何と気持のいい土地か、という。初物好きの江戸人は、初鰹を大いに好んだ。