Translation #58.


by #7. Robert Hass

In this mortal frame of mine which is made of a hundred
bones and nine orfices there is something, and this
something is called a wind-swept spirit for lack of a
better name, for it is much like a thin drapery that is
torn and swept away at the slightest stir of the wind.
This something in me took to writing poetry years ago,
merely to amuse itself at first, but finally making it
its lifelong business. It must be admitted, however,
that there were times when it sank into such dejection
that it was almost ready to drop its pursuit, or again
times when it was so puffed up with pride that it exulted
in vain victories over the others. Indeed, ever since it
began to write poetry, it has never found peace with itself,
always wavering between doubts of one kind and another. At
one time it wanted to gain security by entering the service
of a court, and at another it wished to measure the depth
of its ignorance by trying to be a scholar, but it was
prevented from either because of its unquenchable love of
poetry. The fact is, it knows no other art than the art of
writing poetry, and therefore, it hangs on to it more or
less blindly.

Original text:

(edit)Notes from my Knapsack Excerpt 笈の小文 Oi no kobumi by #57 Matsuo Bashô.



Available on page 235-236 of Essential Haiku.

This item can be found in reference # on page .

For a better browsing experience, Get Firefox!!