I came across this haiku by Ayako Hosomi, which from looking at Japanese poetry blogs it seems that the speaker is lost in thought while standing 3 shaku away from a cockscomb (the flower, unless she’s zoning out looking at a chicken). However I don’t understand actual usage of words in the poem.
The first part seems fairly simple:
鶏頭を三尺離れ 3 shaku away from the cockscomb
But I don’t understand
I don’t know how もの is supposed to break up (is it mo+no? mono? is it a particle for 離れ?) and I definitely don’t understand why ふ is there.
If anyone recognizes the usage here and can help me understand it would be much appreciated.
Thanks for explaining, I thought 思ふ looked like it was just a weird verb. I still don’t get 物 though, wouldn’t that mean she is just thinking about being 3 shaku away from the flower? I’m no poet, but it seems like a weird thing to think about.
Also, I don’t know if that’s how the haiku would actually be split up. I just split it into “sections I understand” and “sections I don’t understand” so please ignore that my biggest trouble with Japanese is knowing where words begin and end sometimes
There is a cut* between 離れ and もの, so they are not entirely connected. I take ものを思ふ to mean “thinking about things”. It’s been half a year since I took a class in haiku so I am struggling to remember the terminology, I think it was 取り合わせ, but they often do this in haiku where the first two parts of the poem are connected, and the last one introduces a contrast.
*Cut is jargon. There are typically two cuts in haiku, splitting the poem in three.
Japanese haiku are typically in 定形, strict form, meaning 5-7-5 mora. Even if they are not there should be two “cuts” as mentioned above.
While it could be true, I am certainly no expert, that would make the poem read like a sentence, which is generally discouraged. There’s a term for it, but I don’t remember what it is. Of course, poems can be about just one thing, then they are called 一物仕立て, but this doesn’t feel like that to me. The second cut seems quite natural for me to happen before もの.
鶏頭を (the silver cock’s comb)
三尺離れ (three shaku away)
もの思ふ (thinking about things)
If I were to translate it
Three feet away,
from the silver cock’s comb
Lost in thought
Okay, that makes sense now. I didn’t realize the poem should read as multiple separate phrases, now the meaning もの思う is pretty obvious (and forgetting about the 5-7-5, duh). This should help me understand the next haiku I read so thanks so much!