The Wisdom Blog: Classic & Contemporary Buddhism

Monday Mindful Morsel: The Clouds Should Know Me by Now

by Maura Gaughan
April 7, 2014
Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:18 -- mgaughan

In the spirit of National Poetry Month, this week’s mindful morsel comes from The Clouds Should Know Me by Now, edited by Red Pine and Mike O’Connor. The Clouds Should Know Me by Now presents the verse, much of it translated for the first time, of fourteen eminent Chinese Buddhist poet monks. Featuring the original Chinese as well as english translations and historical introductions, this book provides an appreciation and understanding of this elegant and traditional expression of spirituality. We think this poem by Wen Chao expresses the inestimable value of poetry, both as a poet’s own practice and as a reader’s source of inspired reflection.

"Hearing the Gibbons call in Pa Gorge," by Wen Chao

As I lean 
On my oar, gazing
At the cloud-line, purity
Emerges, deep and lonely,
From the gorge.

When the mind
Doesn’t have anything
On it, there’s no sorrow
Inherent in repeated calls. They bear
The dew where every peak is distant,
Dangle in space where a slice
Of moon shines
Bright.

Whoever
Hears it like this
Can finish a poem
By dawn.

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