Four Books Of Asian Poetry
(Blogger’s note—This is a post I first made in March of 2011. It did not get much traffic at the time. I’m certain though in the past 15 months that interest in Asian poetry has grown a gret deal. Right? Sure. So I’m reposting this for today.)
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 readingJapanese 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 readingSongs 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.)