Ikeda SumikoIkeda Sumiko (池田澄子 Ikeda Sumiko)

Born 1936 in Kamakura, Kaganaga Prefecture, Japan

Grew up in Nîgata Prefecture. Began composing haiku in her 40s. Studied haiku with Horî Kei and Mitsuhashi Toshio. Won the 36th Modern Haiku Association Award in 1989, and So Sakon Haiku Award in 2006. Became a Kadokawa Haiku Award judge. Her major haiku collections are, Sky Garden [Sora no niwa] (1998); Before I Knew I Was Born as a Human [Itsushika hito ni umarete] (1993); Gendai Haiku Collection Vol. 29: Ikeda Sumiko [Gendai haiku bunko 29: Ikeda Sumiko] (1995); The Sailing Ship [Yukufune] (2000); Story on a Soul [Tamashî no hanashi] (2005); Dear Sir in Reply [Haihuku] (2011).

Translations into English by Richard Gilbert & Ito Yuki (Gendaihaiku, 2014)
 

ピーマン切って中を明るくしてあげた
pîman kitte naka o akaruku shite ageta


cutting a green pepper
to light its inside

 

じゃんけんで負けて蛍に生まれたの
janken de makete hotaru ni umareta no


loosing “rock-paper-scissors”
born as a firefly . . .

 

いつしか人に生まれてきたわ アナタも?
itsushika hito ni umarete kita wa anata mo?


before I knew
born as a human
    you too?

 

的はあなた矢に花咲いてしまいけり
mato wa anata ya ni hana saite shimai keri


my target: you
on my arrow blooms
a flower

 

月の夜の柱よ咲きたいならどうぞ
tsuki no yo no hashira yo sakitai nara dôzo


As a moonlit pillar desires to bloom? If you so, as you like.

 

月おぼろ実は…のあとが聞きとれぬ
tsuki oboro jitsuwa no ato ga kikitorenu


hazy moon – I can't hear after, “Actually I ... ”

 

初恋のあとの長生き春満月
hatsukoi no ato no nagaiki haru mangetsu


first love, then after
longevity –
full spring moon

 

原爆落とされし日の屋上の望遠鏡
genbaku otosareshi hi no okujô no bôenkyô


A-bomb dropped
a rooftop telescope
on the day

 

かなかなや死は外海へゆくごとく
kanakana ya shi wa soto-umi e yuku gotoku


autumn cicada –
death as if going
to the open sea

 

 

日は西へ飛花は次々わたくしへ
hi wa nishi e hika wa tsugitsugi watakushi e


the sun sets west
cherry blossoms fall
toward me, again, again