Texas Liberal

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Texas Liberal Panel Of Experts Reads Asian Poetry From Across The Ages Every Chance They Get—Not A Word Is Wasted

It has been sometime since the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts has been seen on the blog.

I’m sure you’ve been wondering what they’ve been up to in recent weeks.

They’ve been reading books of Asian poems written many years ago.

What else did you think they’d be doing?

Extinct has been reading Japanese Death Poems–Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death.

Being a Woolly Mammoth, Extinct is always interested in reading about death.

Here is a poem from Death Poems written by a man named Gasan in 1885–

Blow if you will,

Fall wind—the flowers

Have all faded.

Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat is reading Crossing The Yellow River–Three Hundred Poems From The Chinese.

As you can tell from the picture, Hamburger has studied Crossing many times.

Below is a poem from Crossing called View From Heron Tower. It was written by a Wang Chih-huan who lived 688-742.

The white sun is hidden by the mountains.

The Yellow River empties into the sea.

Climb up one floor:

You’ll see a hundred miles more.

Cactus is reading Written on Water—Five Hundred Poems from the Man’yoshu.

Cactus likes to read about water for a change of pace from the day-to-day life of a cactus.

Below is a poem from Written that was authored by a Kakinomoto-no-Hitomaro.  This poet lived in the late 7th and early 8th centuries.

Far above the roar

Of the rapids of the stream,

About the peak of graceful Mt. Yutsuki,

Hover heavy clouds.

Samuel Slater Bobblehead is reading Songs of the Kisaeng–Courtesan Poetry of the Last Korean Dynasty.

As always, Samuel Slater Bobblehead is quite industrious in his reading.

Below is a poem from Songs called Who Caught You? It was written by Kungnyo. Kungnyo lived in either the 16th or 17th century.

Who caught you, fish, then set you free

Within my garden pond?

Which clear northern sea did you leave

for these small waters?

Once here, with no way to flee,

you and I are the same.

The poems in these books waste no words. They convey both ideas and feelings from across many years.

No wonder the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts enjoys these books to such a degree.

(Below–The Yellow River in Qinghai Province. Picture by Andre Holdrinet. This is not as serene a place as  it may appear. There was a big earthquake in this province in 2010 that killed many people.  Here are facts about the the Yellow River.)

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March 26, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. like!

    Comment by jen | March 26, 2011

  2. Funny you should mention this — we had a little haiku contest circulating in the office yesterday.

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | March 26, 2011

  3. Jen-Thank you.

    Matt–It is as if we are of one mind.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 28, 2011

  4. Wonderful blog, Neil. That Japanese death poems anthology has long been a favorite of mine. There’s another really good anthology out there of poetry written by Japanese Americans in the internment camps during World War II. I actually wrote a review of it, but I can’t recall the title, and I keep my anthologies in my office at school. If that’s not enough for you to scare it up, let me know, and I’ll send you the actual title.

    Comment by Brett Eugene Ralph | September 11, 2011


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