taikaiwo tedesukuitsutsu yusuzumi
scooping in my hands
the mighty ocean
Issa (Kobayashi) (1763-1827): Translated and commented on by Isamu Hashimoto
Speaking of Issa instantly brings to mind well-known haiku about playing with small insects or animals or children of rural areas like the following: "come on in / play with me / a solitary sparrow" and "snow-melted village / children everywhere / and everywhere." (tr. by IH) However Issa's daily figure was submerged under a real life of sorrow: "world of dew / and world of dew / moreover, oh my dead baby..." (tr. by IH) The haiku I cited above is superlative. It is not overstated, but, with an extraordinary dexterous unexpectedness, we soon find ourselves in the summer evening in the Edo period.