06 December 2018

Poetry Thursday - haiku

I have stolen a man
but never a thing of value
I roll up the bamboo blind

- Suzuki Masajo

The biographical note in the British Museum book of Haiku reads:

b.1906. Masajo led an eccentric lifestyle, renouncing her marriage to live with her lover, thus impoverishing herself financially and socially. Her haiku are unusual too, in that she has taken the theme of love, traditionally more at home in the thirty-one syllable tanka form, and made it the subject of haiku.
Her real name was Masa Suzuki, and she died in 2003. An inn-keeper's daughter, she ran her own inn in Tokyo till the age of 90, having "walked out" of her old life at the age of 50. She started studying haiku in 1936 and wrote a total of 2,576, published in seven books between 1955 and 1998. Her life story is deeply rooted in these haiku.

More biographical details and a selection of her haiku are here.

1 comment:

Kathleen Loomis said...

Interesting that in English this has 6 - 8 - 7 syllables instead of 5 - 7 - 5. Did the translator not care about counting syllables? You would think in a book called "haiku" they would have been a bit more obsessive about the form.

Nice poem, anyway!