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Old 11-07-2015, 05:46 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mr. Charlie View Post
I've already posted some of Li Bai's poetry but have come across some superior (or preferrred at least) translations. First a little about the man:

Li Bai (701-762) is best known for his love of wine and is widely acknowledged as China's greatest poet. It is said that Li Bai never ammended or edited any of his poems, that every one of his poems is a first draft - a remarkable fact if true.

Rather unusually for the time, he was celebrated during his own lifetime and indeed recognised as a genius - a reputation that led him to become friend and advisor to the Emperor - a precarious position that later saw him imprisoned, sentenced to death, and eventually exiled.

He was a controversial figure, a free spirit with a deep love of nature and even deeper love of Taoist values who championed intoxication and the nomadic lifestyle, and criticised law and order. Rumour has it he drowned while drunkenly reaching for the reflection of the moon on the river, which, ironically, is a recurring scene in many of his poems.

You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.

- Li Bai

This next one beautifully describes the dropping away of the self until Oneness is experienced:

The birds have vanished from the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.

- Li Bai

More soon.
I have some Li Bai's poetry .Share with you.

Sailing far off from Jingmen Ferry,
Soon you will be with people in the south,
Where the mountains end and the plains begin
And the river winds through wilderness....
The moon is lifted like a mirror,
Sea-clouds gleam like palaces,
And the water has brought you a touch of home
To draw your boat three hundred miles.

- Li bai

So bright a gleam on the foot of my bed --
Could there have been a frost already?
Lifting myself to look, I found that it was moonlight.
Sinking back again, I thought suddenly of home.

- Li Bai
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:57 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Thanks, Baihe.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:40 PM   #43 (permalink)
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This next lot are by the Indian poet Kabir. Revered by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, and loved the world over, Kabir was a poet, philosopher, guru and Indian saint, and ranks alongside Rumi as one of the great mystic poets.

All know
that the drop
merges into the ocean,
but few know
that the ocean
merges into the drop.

- Kabir

If you want the truth,
I’ll tell you the truth:
Listen to the secret sound,
the real sound,
which is inside you.

- Kabir

I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty.

You don't grasp the fact that what is most alive of all is inside your own house;
and you walk from one holy city to the next with a confused look!

Kabir will tell you the truth: go wherever you like, to Calcutta or Tibet;
if you can't find where your soul is hidden,
for you the world will never be real!

- Kabir

What is seen is not the Truth
What is cannot be said
Trust comes not without seeing
Nor understanding without words
The wise comprehends with knowledge
To the ignorant it is but a wonder
Some worship the formless God
Some worship his various forms
In what way He is beyond these attributes
Only the Knower knows
That music cannot be written
How can then be the notes
Say Kabir, awareness alone will overcome illusion.

- Kabir

Lift the veil
that obscures
the heart,
will find
are looking for.

- Kabir

Listen, my friend.
He who loves understands

- Kabir

Between the poles of the conscious and the unconscious,
there has the mind made a swing:
Thereon hang all beings and all worlds,
and that swing never ceases its sway.

- Kabir

Slowly slowly O mind...
Everything in its own pace happens,
A gardner may water with a hundred buckets...
Fruit arrives only in its season.

- Kabir

Many have died;
you also will die.
The drum of death is being beaten.
The world has fallen in love with a dream.
Only sayings of the wise will remain.

- Kabir
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:43 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I came across this next poet in a book of Chinese poetry I found in our local library. I don't know anything about him other than his words strike a certain chord.

Bend down—and there it is:
No need to wrest it from others.
With the Way, in complete agreement—
The mere touch of a hand is spring:
The way we come upon blooming flowers,
The way we see the year renew itself.
What comes this way will stay;
What is gotten by force will drain away.
A secluded man in an empty mountain,
As rain drops, picks some blades of duckweed.
Freely to feel the flash of dawn:
Leisurely, with the celestial balance.

- Wang Wei

In these quiet years growing calmer,
Lacking knowledge of the world’s affairs,
I stop worrying how things will turn out.
My quiet mind makes no subtle plans.
Returning to the woods I love
A pine-tree breeze rustles in my robes.
Mountain moonlight fills the lute’s bowl,
Shows up what learning I have left.
If you ask what makes us rich or poor
Hear the Fisherman’s voice float to shore.

- Wang Wei

We follow you home to the Mountain.
Back again through oak and green pine.
Beyond the White Clouds you stay forever.
Only this stream runs down to Humankind.

- Wang Wei

Middle-aged now, following the Way.
Settled at evening near the Chungnan slopes.
Delight, and I wander off by myself
Searching for what I need to see alone.
I climb up to the roots of the streams,
Sit and watch the White Clouds pass,
Meet the old man of the woods,
Talk and laugh, forget to go home.

- Wang Wei

Here there are no others like me
Sitting alone in meditation.
Look out here from the mountain.
All you will see is White Clouds.

- Wang Wei

Not knowing where the temple was,
I travelled miles on hills of cloud,
Through ancient pines, no good tracks,
Towards bell sounds across deep gorges.
Stream’s noise where rocks are high.
Cool sun in fir branches.
Sit at night by the mountain pool,
Seeking to reign in the Dragon.

- Wang Wei

No urge now to write poems.
Old age is my companion.
In error they made me a poet in a past life.
Some lost existence had me as a painter.
Unable to get rid of ingrained habits,
The world has come to know me by them.
My name, my style, they may grasp, it’s true.
But my mind and heart they’ll never know.

- Wang Wei

I have a place on the Chungnan slopes.
Sitting there you can see the Mountains.
No one there, no guests, the gate is closed.
No plans all day, just time and silence.
Nothing stops you gazing and dreaming.
Why not come and try to find me there?

- Wang Wei

Last edited by Mr. Charlie; 11-16-2015 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 11-24-2015, 11:25 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Day after day we can't help growing older.
Year after year spring can't help seeming younger.
Come let's enjoy our winecup today,
Not pity the flowers fallen!

- Wang Wei

Hidden on this mountain, many Buddhist monks
Chant sutras, meditate together;
Men on distant city walls gazing towards the peaks
See only white, enshrouding clouds.

- Wang Wei

Leaning alone in the bamboo grove,
I am playing my lute and humming a song
Too softly for anyone to hear -
Except my comrade, the bright moon.

- Wang Wei
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:33 PM   #46 (permalink)
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After rain the empty mountain
Stands autumnal in the evening,
Moonlight in its groves of pine,
Stones of crystal in its brooks.
Bamboos whisper of washer-girls bound home,
Lotus-leaves yield before a fisher-boat --
And what does it matter that springtime has gone,
While you are here, O Prince of Friends?

-Wang Wei
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:36 PM   #47 (permalink)
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[I]^ Cheers, buddy.

The moon's the same old moon,
The flowers exactly as they were,
Yet I've become the thingness
Of all the things I see!

- Bunan

For twenty years I've sought the Other.
Now, letting go, I fly out of the pit.
What use oneness of mind and body?
These days I only sing la-la-la.

- Keso Shogaku

Although I try
to hold the single thought
of Buddha's teaching in my heart,
I cannot help but hear
the many crickets' voices calling as well.

- Izumi Shikibu

With thy perfect intelligence and compassion
Which are beyond all limit,
Thou comprehends the egolessness of things and persons,
And, art free and clear from the hindrances of passion and egoism.
Thou do not vanish into Nirvana,
Nor does Nirvana abide in thee,
For Nirvana transcends all duality of knowing and known,
Of being and non-being.
Those who see thee thus,
Serene and beyond conceptions,
Will be emancipated from attachment,
Will be cleansed of all defilement,
Both in this world and in the spiritual world beyond.
In this world, whose nature is like a dream,
there is a place for praise and blame;
But, in the ultimate Reality of the Dharmakaya,
Which is far beyond the senses and the discriminating mind,
What is there to praise?
O Thou Most Wise!

- Lankavatara Sutra

I asked a child, walking with a candle,
"From where comes that light?"
Instantly he blew it out.
"Tell me where it is gone --
then I will tell you where it came from."

- Hasan of Basra

If you want to be free,
Get to know your real self.
It has no form, no appearance,
No root, no basis, no abode,
But is lively and buoyant.
It responds with versatile facility,
But its function cannot be located.
Therefore when you look for it,
You become further from it;
When you seek it,
You turn away from it all the more.

- Linji

It is as though you have an eye
That sees all forms
But does not see itself.
This is how your mind is.
Its light penetrates everywhere
And engulfs everything,
So why does it not know itself?

- Foyan

All night I could not sleep
because of the moonlight on my bed.
I kept on hearing a voice calling:
Out of Nowhere, Nothing answered "yes."

- Zi Ye

The 'you'
who you think you are
does not exist.

- Alan Watts

There ain't no answer.
There ain't going to be an answer.
There never has been an answer.
That's the answer.

- Gertrude Stein
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:22 AM   #48 (permalink)
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From the master Sufi poet:

Rumi ~ Where All Is Music

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Old 12-13-2015, 08:35 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Rumi is a wonderful poet. I really like We Are As the Flute. I don't really agree with the religious element and all, but man it's beautiful.

We are as the flute, and the music in us is from thee;
we are as the mountain and the echo in us is from thee.

We are as pieces of chess engaged in victory and defeat:
our victory and defeat is from thee, O thou whose qualities are comely!

Who are we, O Thou soul of our souls,
that we should remain in being beside thee?

We and our existences are really non-existence;
thou art the absolute Being which manifests the perishable.

We all are lions, but lions on a banner:
because of the wind they are rushing onward from moment to moment.

Their onward rush is visible, and the wind is unseen:
may that which is unseen not fail from us!

Our wind whereby we are moved and our being are of thy gift;
our whole existence is from thy bringing into being.
At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.

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Old 12-13-2015, 08:38 AM   #50 (permalink)
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^ Beautiful.
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