The Poetry of Zen

The Poetry of Zen

4.2 4
by Sam Hamill
     
 



A Zen poem is nothing other than an expression of the
enlightened mind, a handful of simple words that disappear beneath the moment
of insight to which it bears witness. Poetry has been an essential aid to Zen
Buddhist practice from the dawn of Zen—and Zen has also had a profound
influence on the secular poetry of the countries in

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Overview



A Zen poem is nothing other than an expression of the
enlightened mind, a handful of simple words that disappear beneath the moment
of insight to which it bears witness. Poetry has been an essential aid to Zen
Buddhist practice from the dawn of Zen—and Zen has also had a profound
influence on the secular poetry of the countries in which it has flourished.
Here, two of America’s most
renowned poets and translators provide an overview of Zen poetry from China and Japan in all its rich variety, from
the earliest days to the twentieth century. Included are works by Lao Tzu, Han
Shan, Li Po, Dogen Kigen, Saigyo, Basho, Chiao Jan, Yuan Mei, Ryokan, and many
others. Hamill and Seaton provide illuminating introductions to the Chinese and
Japanese sections that set the poets and their work in historical and
philosophical context. Short biographies of the poets are also included.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 "A major collection."—Booklist

"The poets in this superb collection pay attention to the wonders of the natural world, the signs of precariousness of life in all living beings, the little changes that comprise each day, and the small details that are often missed by those who are less observant."—Spirituality & Health

“These evocative poems capture the ephemera of nature with uncanny starkness.”—Buddhadharma

"There is no need to be mystical or religious to enjoy this writing."—The Bloomsbury Review

"This is a book to enrich our life and our practice, a collection that encourages us to be mindful, to keep at it. Read it, and sit."—Tricycle

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780834825086
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
01/12/2012
Series:
Shambhala Publications
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
765,970
File size:
1 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt




PO
CHU-I

(772–846)

After
Reading Lao Tzu

"One
who speaks does not know; one who knows does not speak."

Thus
I have been instructed by the Old Master.

If
you tell me the Old Master was one who knew, I ask,

Why
did he write five thousand words to explain it?

Invitation
to Liu the 19th

Clear,
fresh, Lu-yi sake

warms
on my little stove.

This
evening sky may bring snow.

Come
enjoy a cup with me.

LIU
TSUNG-YUAN

(773–819)

Snowy
River

The
birds have vanished

from
a thousand mountains.

On
a thousand trails,

not
a single human sign.

A
little boat,

a
bamboo hat and cloak—

the
old man, alone,

fishing
the snowy river.

MATSUO
BASHO

(1644–1682)

Selected
Haiku

Under
full blossom—

a
spirited monk and

a
flirtatious wife

Within
the skylark's song—

the
distinct rhythm of

the
pheasant's cry

Kannon's
tiled temple

roof
floats far away in clouds

of
cherry blossoms

How
very noble!

One
who finds no satori

in
the lightning flash

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