Saturday, January 29, 2011

For the New Born

Slowly opening
Reaching for sunshine--
New growth.

©pwilliams 2011

Quiet Despair

In my solitude,
I sadly wonder what to do,
But the only reply
Is the rustling
Of the reeds before me.

Hitori shite
Ika ni semashi to
Soyo tomo mae no
Ogi no kotauru.

Excerpt from: Kon- jaku Monogatari.
It is also the basis for the noh play Ashikari.
Part of Yamato Monogatari.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

THE LETTER by Po Chu-i [A.D. 81 ]

Another gem from Po; he has such a great sense of humor and rhythm. Po wrote THE LETTER soon after becoming separated from his exhiled best friend.

by Po Chu-i [A.D. 81 ]

"A knocking on the door sounded 'Doong, doong!'

They came and told me a messenger from Shang-chou
had brought a letter, a single scroll from you!

Up from my pillow I suddenly sprang out of bed
and threw on my clothes, all topsy-turvy.

I undid the knot and saw the letter within;
a single sheet with thirteen lines of writing.

At the top it told the sorrows of an exile's heart;
at the bottom it described the pains of separation.

The sorrows and pains took up so much space
There was no room left to talk about the weather! "

I excerpted this passage from "The Letter".

Reference: Waley, A. D., & Chu-I, P. (January 01, 1917). Thirty-Eight Poems by Po Chu-I. Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, London Institution, 1, 1, 53-78.

Po link: