A Weekend Diary

…words and images from England's green and pleasant land…

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Three Chinese Poems

“Mount Lu in misty rain; the River Che at high tide.
When I had not been there, no rest from the pain of longing!
I went there and returned…. It was nothing special:
Mount Lu in misty rain; the River Che at high tide.”

Ancient Chinese poem, as quoted in Alan Watts’ “The Way of Zen”

“I asked the boy beneath the pines.
He said: the Master’s gone alone
herb picking somewhere on the mount,
cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown.”

Chia Tao  (777-841)

“My Retreat at Mount Chungnan

My heart in middle age found the Way.
And I came to dwell at the foot of this mountain.
When the spirit moves, I wander alone
Amid beauty that is all for me….
I will walk till the water checks my path,
Then sit and watch the rising clouds –
And some day meet an old wood-cutter
And talk and laugh and never return.”

Wang Wei (699-759)

From “The Jade Mountain” (1929), translation by Witter Bynner with Kiang Kang-hu

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