wakaruru-ya nan-no howata-ka tsuki kitaru
some kind of grass seed
stuck to me, follows
Shuson Kato (1905-1993). From "Fukkoshi" (Snow in the Blue Sky) by Shuson Kato, Ushinzan Bunko, 1976.
The scene itself is concrete with respect to us being able to visualize the small and spine-covered grass seed stuck to the poet's clothes. The first line doesn't indicate who the poet is parting from, and in fact the grammar is such that the poet wants attention drawn to the act of parting itself, rather than any particular goodbye. He says "parting is like this" in the final two lines of the haiku. Every time one parts from someone, you always take some small part of them with you as a memory or idea, and what you take with you in parting will vary depending on the person, time and place. In this one concrete act of parting that the poet introduces in this haiku, we are caused to think of the act of parting per se and what it means to us.
Selected, translated and commented on by Dhugal J. Lindsay