Basho’s “My feet become entangled”

My Translation As I return home My feet become entangled— In the threaded cherry blossoms Original Japanese 糸桜にや帰るさの足もつれ Pronunciation Ito-zakura Koya kaeru-sa no Ashi motsure Literal Thread/drooping cherry blossom Toward return when/as ’s [=as I leave] Foot tangled/snagged gets The “threaded cherry blossom” is a …

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Basho’s “A dog and the winter rain”

My Translation From my pillow of grass— A dog and the winter rain Are voices of the night Original Japanese 草枕犬も時雨るるか夜の声 Pronunciation Kusa-makura Inu mo shigururu ka Yoru no koe Literal Grass pillow Dog [also/equal emphasis] winter rain ? Night’s voice “Grass pillow” could mean …

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Basho’s “Carrying a comedic haiku”

My Translation With the cold winter wind Carrying a comedic haiku— I’m like Chikusai! Original Japanese 狂句木枯の身は竹斎に似たる哉 Pronunciation Kyoku kogarashi no Mi wa Chikusai ni Ni-taru kana Literal and Notes [Comic haiku] [cold winter wind]’s Body/myself [as for] Chikusai whom Resemble ! Chikusai is a …

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Basho’s “The whiteness of the white fish”

This haiku alludes to a poem by the famous Chinese poet from the Tang Dynasty, Du Fu. My Translation At the break of day The whiteness of the white fish Is just an inch Original Japanese 明けぼのや白魚しろきこと一寸 Pronunciation Akebono ya Shira-uo shiroki Koto issun Literal …

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Basho: “The beating of a washing block”

Alludes to a Fujiwara no Masatsune tanka. As part of the cleaning process, clothes were beat on a stone block. My Translation I must listen to The beating of a washing block— The priest’s wife Original Japanese 碪打ちて我に聞かせよ坊が妻 Pronunciation Kinuta uchi-te Ware ni kika-seyo Bou …

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