Haiku of Kobayashi Issa

1 haiku (#9528) out of 11160

1816

.川越や肩で水きる時鳥
kawa-goshi ya kata de mizu kiru hototogisu

the river porter
crossing with a swagger
a cuckoo

Or: "river porters." The expression, kata de kaze wo kitte aruku ("walking and cutting the wind with one's shoulders") means to strut or walk with a swagger. Issa uses a similar construction here: someone "cuts the water with his shoulders" (kata de mizu kiru).

Shinji Ogawa writes notes that Kazuhiko Maruyama reads the first two kanji of this haiku as kawa-goshi, even though the editors of Issa zenshû read it as kawa-goe; (Nagano: Shinano Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1976-79) 1.342. Shinji pictures here "river porters": men who carry items across a river where there is no bridge: a short form of kawa-goshi ninsoku.

All translations © 1991-2021 by David G. Lanoue, rights reserved.

Issa

一茶