The ending couplet is from Po Chu-I's "Autumn Pool"
Falling Asleep Reading P Chu-I and Finding This in the Morning
"You read me and think you can become
A sage, repeating my words as though
Your own and your answer, when they
Are only mine; speak to no one for days
And then tell everyone you're a hermit.
You don't know what you don't know.
"There's a scroll above you on the wall -
Do you really see the nature of silence
And solitude? Thickly brushed mountains
Looming over the left side of the painting,
Layers of green clinging to the lower slopes,
Dark and shadowing fields beneath them,
Here and there the silver ribbon of a stream,
The sky a translucent light on snowy crags.
Not seen but there the cloistered monastery,
Not heard the deep somber bells to prayer.
This is silence.
"And do you see, in the right-hand corner,
Near the bottom, the tiny figure of a man
Wearing an old long cloak of woven reeds,
Poised on a path approaching the pine hills,
Not lost but paused where the path branches.
And in the middle the necessary misty river,
A single small boat with another man fishing.
The two men are never aware of each other,
Each looking for something he's not yet seen
In the distance between them, and between
Where they are and the far-off mountains.
This is solitude.
"The figures not moving in a thousand years,
The mountains and the river there forever.
So much solitude in this far end of quiet,
A silence of mystery no one finally knows."
Poetry by countryfog
Read 466 times
Written on 2011-08-16 at 03:36
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