a baking pan on his head...
ISSA - 1804
hôroku wo kabutte yuku ya haru no ame
Or: "her head." One of the most important aspects of haiku is that much is left ambiguous, unspoken, undefined. Ludmila Balabanova writes, "Haiku isn't a perception shared by the author, but an invitation to the reader to achieve his own enlightenment" (World Haiku Association speech, Tenri Japan, October 2003). Is the person walking along a child? An adult? Issa? I prefer to picture a child, but this choice is left to each reader to decide. Whoever we imagine, the makeshift umbrella-hat raises a smile. The delight of seeing a baking pan in this unexpected place, worn as a hat, is justification enough for the poem--a sketch from life that isn't straining to reveal deeper meaning. The image is simple, but the feeling it evokes, one of springtime joy, resonates in our hearts. Raindrops patter on the pan; the person under it--child, man, woman or Issa--strides forward unabashed.
DescriptionAll the above quoted from today's posting at
[dailyissa] Issa Haiku http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dailyissa/
A daily look at a random haiku by Japanese master Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)--with English translation and comments by David G. Lanoue.