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 Issa, the Master

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Billy
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Number of posts : 24
Age : 60
Localisation : Ontario, Canada
Registration date : 2007-04-19

PostSubject: Issa, the Master   Wed May 09, 2007 2:35 am

Issa is my favorite haiku Master. The first one I read by him was...

this dewdrop world
is a dewdrop world
and yet ... and yet ...

I was intrigued, I had to learn more. Written just after the death of his child. Issa seams to have broken the rule about repetitiveness in haiku, yet without it I think this haiku would not have the power it has. I have yet to see anyone in any poetic genre describe the fleetingness we humans really have on this Earth as Issa did with the phrase " this dewdrop world". I am amazed by his insight.


Last edited by on Sat May 12, 2007 4:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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norman_darlington



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Localisation : Ireland
Registration date : 2007-05-06

PostSubject: Re: Issa, the Master   Fri May 11, 2007 1:38 pm

From chapter 14 of Issa's haibun 'The Spring of my Life', translated by Sam Hamill:

It is often said that the greatest pleasures result in the greatest misery. But why is it that my little child who's had no chance to savor even half the world's pleasures—who should be green as new needles on the eternal pine—why should she be found on her deathbed, puffy with blisters raised by the despicable god of smallpox? How can I, her father, stand by and watch her fade away each day like a perfect flower suddenly ravaged by rain and mud?

Two or three days later, her blisters dried to hard scabs and fell off like dirt softened by melting snow. Encouraged, we made a tiny boat of straw and poured hot saké over it with a prayer and sent it floating downriver in hopes of placating the god of the pox. But our hope and efforts were useless and she grew weaker day by day. Finally, at midsummer, as the morning glory flowers were closing, her eyes closed forever.

Her mother clutched her cold body and wailed. I knew her heartbreak but also knew that tears were useless, that water under the bridge never returns, that scattered flowers are gone forever. And yet nothing I could do would cut the bonds of human love.

The world of dew
is only the world of dew—
and yet ... oh and yet ...
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Billy
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PostSubject: Re: Issa, the Master   Sat May 12, 2007 4:09 am

Dang, I need to get this book. I just recently found out about haibun, it's fantastic.

Billy
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