At Taisui’s house
An all night party at Taisui’s house. Awaiting dawn. Taisui being a fellow poet, whose courtesy name 苔水 / 岱水 translates as spring rain. Taisui lived in Fukagawa near Basho.
Taisui wrote the following haiku:
“Rain, but not enough to come through the jacket.”
Uwabari wo / tusanu hodo no / ame huri te
Once at his home, Taisui held a party. It rained 折々 oriori, off and on or occasionally.
“Bashō, there is a chance of rain,” said Taisui.
Perhaps, like the farmer, Basho wishes it would rain. The farmer gets a day off, the rice sprouts, and Basho delays his departure.
Occasional rain / no worry / rice seedlings sprout
ame ori ori / omou koto naki / sanae kana
Notes on translation
May 皐月 satsuki is the month to plant rice seedlings 苗 nae.
Rain inspires us in all its forms. Like English, Japanese has many expressions for rain, 雨 ame. Compare 五月雨 samidare, a heavy rain that occurs in May. Also 降雨 jiàngyǔ, rainfall; 雨量 yǔliàng, rainfall. As used by Basho, 雨折々 ame ori ori, is an occasional rain.