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Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Simple Utterance

Here's a poem I translated yesterday by the poet-monk Jia Dao.  I think this will make a good addition to the collection of Chan poems I'm in the process of assembling for publication under the title The Poetry of Awakening.  As with many of the greatest poems written in this tradition, Jia Dao is writing here about being in a liminal state, and provides us with a poem that hovers between a literal and metaphorical description of the experience of awakening.

In the middle of the night
Not quite myself I rise
To draw water from
Deep inside the well
The forest trees
Are bathed in white
The stars shimmer
In the clear sky





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