January 25th, 2008 · No Comments

What’s the weather like where you are?

Here in New York, it’s cold and clear, with whipping winds that sting your face. No snow (yet), but I’m hoping there’ll be some soon. On a cold winter day (or night), there’s nothing like staying inside in the warmth and relaxing.

Today’s poem is about precisely that, and it’s a short one: a 俳句. The poem was written by an anonymous 俳人 (haiku poet) at the 秀石句会, a likely otherwise unremarkable meeting of Go players to compose poetry about their most beloved game. Yet I somehow stumbled upon this poem and liked it, so I’m now sharing it with you. You should know all of the words in this poem, but I’ll give you a few grammar notes and my translation after the poem itself.


 Grammar Notes: 
  • し and やりたし are just older forms of い and やりたい, respectively.
  • It is a tradition of 俳句 to use a seasonal word (季語) in the first line to indicate the season and draw in a connection to nature. I think the 季語 here is obvious. :) Not all 俳句 have a strict 5-7-5 モーラ count, but 俳人 usually try to stick as close to this as possible.
  • The 「なのに」 here can be thought of the same thing as 「にもかかわらず」 or 「だけれど」.
  • Here’s your unintuitive verb of the day: む. It means "to write," when you’re talking about a poem. That’s right: the verb for "to write a poem" is pronounced 「よむ」. That means that sentences like this are possible: 「俳句んでからみんなでみましょう!」 Heh.

It’s winter, but
I want to play Go
The road is frightening

Sometimes there’s nothing nicer than staying inside and relaxing, you know? I like curling up with a nice physics books and reading it until my mind is so full of ideas I fall asleep and dream about everything I read. What about you?

Tags: poetry

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