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山路来て 何やらゆかし すみれ草

松尾芭蕉(まつおばしょう)

Matsuo Basho

山路(やまじ)()て (なに)やらゆかし すみれ(ぐさ)

yamaji kite / nani yarayukashi / sumire gusa

Coming upon a mountain path / I feel somehow charmed / the violets

Key Haiku Terms

季語 kigo seasonal words - Within the poem, at least one word or phrase should symbolize one of the four seasons. 

切れ字 kireji cutting words - These are small words that often function as a placeholder so the verse has the right number of moras.  They also function to give a certain emotional or sentimental flavor to the poem.

山路(やまじ)()て (なに)やらゆかし すみれ(ぐさ)

Coming upon a mountain path / I feel somehow charmed / the violets


VOCABULARY

  • 山路 mountain path
  • 来て coming
  • 何やら somehow; for some reason; something; some kind of
  • ゆかし curious; eager to know (or experience); nostalgic; charming; admirable
  • すみれ草 Fuji dawn (a type of violet flower)


COMMENTARY:

山道(やまみち)(ある)いていたら、(みち)のわきに(ちい)さなすみれが()いていました。なんとなく(こころ)がひかれました。

I was walking along a mountain path when I saw a small violet blooming on the side of the road. My heart was somehow drawn to it.

VOCABULARY:

  • 山道 mountain road
  • を (direct object marker)
  • 歩いていたら while walking [continuous ~ている form of 歩く (to walk) + たら (indicates supposition: if … then; when; after]
  • 道のわきに on the side of the road [道 (road) の (connector particle) わき (side) に (on)]
  • 小さな a little
  • すみれ violet flower
  • 咲いていました had bloomed
  • なんとなく somehow; for some reason; vaguely
  • 心がひかれました to have one's heart-strings pulled; to feel the call of …; to be charmed by [literally, "to have one's heart pulled"]
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