Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Carpe Diem Special #202 Basho's Disciples: Shiba Sonome's "nobody sees"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... I have another episode for you. As you all know this month we are exploring the haiku writing techniques used by Matsuo Basho and in the CD-Specials I introduce to you a few of his finest disciples. Today's poetess was also a disciple of Basho and being that she also was part of Basho's Shoomon School. I hope you will like this episode.

Shiba Sonome (1664-1726) was born in Ise, Yamada, as a daughter of a priest from Ise Shrine, and later well known for her beauty. Her husband was the doctor Shiba Ichi-U, also a pupil of Matsuo Basho. His haiku name was Isen. They lived in Osaka since 1692.
In 1690, Sonome became a student of Basho. Her correspondence with Basho is quite well loved.

After the death of her husband, she went to Edo and contacted Enomoto Kikaku. She also worked as a doctor to help people with ailments of the eyes. 
In 1718 she cut her hair and became a nun, called Chikyo-Ni (Chikyoo ni ).

Shiba Sonome
yo ni hito no shiranu hana ari miyama shii

some blossoms there are
that nobody sees—
an oak deep in the woods

© Shiba Sonome

As I read and re-read this haiku again it felt like Sonome had written it for her master Basho, because, as you all know ... Basho means 'banana-tree' and that tree has blossoms that aren't rich in color, the blossoms of the banana-tree are inconspicuously and it's wood is useless. But he (Basho) is like an oak, he is the master of haiku and he can point you the magical world of nature and expose it to you all (The deeper meaning of oak is mysterious and deeper knowledge/wisdom). So ... maybe Sonome has written the above haiku for her master.

It;s a really gorgeous haiku and as I wrote above ... I think it's truly a tribute to Matsuo Basho.

Here is another beauty composed by Sonome:

how hot it is!
scarce can I bear the child upon my back
that plays with my hair

© Shiba Sonome (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

I will leave you with only the haiku by Sonome (and that one translation by myself) without including a new haiku written by myself ... 

This CD-Special is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 18th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, blossom, later on. For now .... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.

1 comment:

  1. I love the one about the oak. It's serene and contemplative. I will try to come even a little close to her beautiful style! Thank you, Chevrefeuille!