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Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Haiku

I turn to the Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) for New Year haiku on this New Year's Eve Day.

These I found at the site Haiku of Kobayashi Issa, where there are over 10,000 of Issa's haiku, complete with a handy search function so you choose your topic. I  searched for New Year and found 17 haiku, a few of which I present below.

I chose this one because it has been flitting snow all day here in Kobe.

o-sagari no shûgi ni yuki mo chirari kana
sprinkled in
with the new year's rain...
flitting snow
This one I chose simply because it captures my mood.
toshi tatsu ya moto no gu ga mata gu ni kaeru
a new year--
the same nonsense
piled on nonsense
This is is about old age, which I have been thinking about a lot, and about eyesight, which is a constant obsession in our family. (Son #2 got his first pair of glasses yesterday, as it happens.)
kasumu yara me ga kasumu yara kotoshi kara
all is misty
even my eyes!
from this new year on
This one suggest that the barley fields will soon change color, turning green, ripening. I am currently working on a linked series of prose poems about color, so this appealed to me.
kyô kara wa shôgatsu bun zo mugi no iro
after today
a new year begins!
the color of barley
And of course, children, their constant needs and gifts.
konya kara shôgatsubun zo kodomoshû
after this night
a new year dawns!
This one echoes the previous haiku about the barley changing color, doesn't it?
This website also has a random haiku generator. Click on that link and get a random haiku by Issa. Or search for what you want.
Either way, Happy New Year!


diane in iowa said...

happy new year, jessica.
may it be full of words that obey your least whim!

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Diane! How nice to hear from you! And may your year be full of clay that obeys your least whim!