Bashō’s haiku 300 in Japanese and English by L. P. Lovee (21) ~ (30)
(ayamegusa ashini-musuban waraji-no-o)
I’ll tie at my feet_
the thongs of straw sandals
“ayamegusa” is a kind of sweet flag. It is a Japanese old custom for the festival on the fifth day of the fifth month (Lunar calender) to attach “ayamegusa” to the thatched roof of a private house so that no evil may invade into the house. Today, few people observe this custom, but many people still observe an old custom to put ayamegusa in their bath on Children’s Day (May 5) for the healthy growth of children.
Bashō composed this haiku to express his appreciation for the kindness of his host who gave him straw sandals.
(surugaji-ya hanatachibana-mo cha-no-nioi)
the Suruga road_
orange blossoms also smell
as the scent of tea
(shizukasa-ya iwa-ni shimiiru semi-no-koe)
the voice of a cicada
seeping into the crags
(kitsutsuki-mo io-wa-yaburazu natsukodachi)
do not harm the hut_
(kozue-yori adani-ochikeri seminokara)
out of a treetop
a cicada shell
(sō-asagao ikushinikaeru nori-no-matsu)
monks and morning glories
generations of dying to return_
the dharma pine tree
・やがて死ぬ けしきは見えず 蝉の声 (27/300)
(yagate-shinu keshiki-wa-miezu semi-no-koe)
the voices of cicadas_
with no signs of soon dying
Soon I may die,
lying unable to see the scenery_
voices of cicadas
(A) is a translation based on the normal understanding of the haiku of Bashō.
(B) is a referential translation of this haiku, in which “keshiki” is written in “hirakana” ( i.e., “けしき”) so that grammatically it may mean “sign” or “scenery”. It is unknown whether Bashō intended to express such double meaning.
(natsukusa-ya tsuwamonodomo-ga yume-no-ato)
the summer grasses:
the remains of
(mizuumi-ya atsusa-o-oshimu kumo-no-mine)
missing the summer heat,
the soaring peaks of cloud
Bashō composed this haiku after seeing Lake Biwa and Mt. Hiei.
(sumadera-ya fukanu-fue-kiku koshitayami)
hearing the unblown fife,
in the dark of trees’ shade
Bashō composed this haiku in reference to “The Tale of the Heike”.