mino to kasa
Lost in conversation,
straw raincoat and umbrella.
This is by Buson, a great painter and a fine poet. Apparently it's the source of a lot of interpretive debate: what on earth could the country peasant in the straw raincoat and the urbanite with the umbrella find so enthralling to discuss that they would walk along together in the rain (and in public)? Is this pair a man and a woman? Two women? Two men? The image is so wonderful and elusive . . .
I'm sort of collecting haiku with umbrellas in them. No good reason, just--well, umbrellas always make me smile.
By Shiki, last of the four great haiku poets (died, too young, in 1902):
kasa sashite miru
browsing under my umbrella
at the manga stall
No, really! I promise! The translations I found all say something like "picture-book shop!"
In other news, Meiji chocolate from Japan is not only the best brand name in the universe, but it's delicious--not quite as sweet as American or British chocolate. Yes, I'm binge-shopping at the Japanese grocery stores. No, I have no idea how I'm going to get everything shipped back home this week.
This week. Less than a week left here in San Diego. Yes, I'm dying to sleep in my own comfortable bed again, but . . . ohhhhhhh, I hate to see this wonderful experience end. Such a luxury in adulthood, to be given nearly a month to learn new things just for the sake of learning them.