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1810

.埋火の天窓張りこくるきせる哉
uzumibi no atama hari-kokuru kiseru kana

rapping on
the banked fire's head...
my pipe

A "banked fire" is a fire covered with ashes to ensure low burning. Here, Issa personalizes the fire, knocking his pipe against its "head" (atama). Hari-kokuru (here written hari-kokuri) is an old expression that means to "resolutely hit"; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 1361.

In the same year, Issa writes this haiku with his images in a different order:

usumibi ya kiseru de atama hari-kokuri

banked fire--
with my pipe rapping
its head

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All translations © 1991-2010 by David G. Lanoue, rights reserved.