I may complain about my classes at times, but nonwestern poetry is a fascinating subject that, in my opinion, should be studied by anyone who considers him/herself a poet.
We're just finishing the Chinese unit, and I've read some things that I just have to share with you.
Answering Magistrate Chang--Wang Wei
Now late in life I love only stillness,
all the world's troubles touch not my heart.
I look within and find there no great plans,
know only to return to the woods of my home.
There wind through pines blows my sash untied,
moon of the hills shines on playing a harp.
You ask the pattern of failure and success?--
the fisherman's song reaches deep over the shore.
Dialogue in the Mountains--Li Po
You ask me why I lodge in these emerald hills;
I laugh, don't answer--my heart is at peace.
Peach blossoms and flowing waters
go off to mysterious dark,
And there is another world,
not of mortal men.
Writing of My Feelings Traveling by Night--Tu Fu
Slender grasses, breeze faint on the shore;
here, the looming mast, the lonely night boat.
Stars hang down on the breadth of the plain,
the moon gushes in the great river's current.
My name shall not be known from my writing,
sick, growing old, I must yield up my post.
Wind-tossed, fluttering--what is my likeness?
in Heaven and Earth, a single gull of the sands.
- ▼ 2011 (40)