Zen Poems

( 1 )


The appreciation of Zen philosophy and art has become universal, and Zen poetry, with its simple expression of direct, intuitive insight and sudden enlightenment, appeals to lovers of poetry, spirituality, and beauty everywhere. This collection of translations of the classical Zen poets of China, Japan, and Korea includes the work of Zen practitioners and monks as well as scholars, artists, travelers, and recluses, ranging from Wang Wei, Hanshan, and Yang Wanli, to Shinkei, ...
See more details below
BN.com price
(Save 21%)$14.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (25) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $8.19   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


The appreciation of Zen philosophy and art has become universal, and Zen poetry, with its simple expression of direct, intuitive insight and sudden enlightenment, appeals to lovers of poetry, spirituality, and beauty everywhere. This collection of translations of the classical Zen poets of China, Japan, and Korea includes the work of Zen practitioners and monks as well as scholars, artists, travelers, and recluses, ranging from Wang Wei, Hanshan, and Yang Wanli, to Shinkei, Basho, and Ryokan.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375405525
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Series: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 591,479
  • Product dimensions: 4.37 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Harris is the founder of the Asian Studies Institute at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, and the editor of the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets anthology Zen Poems.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Xie Lingyun (385–433)
Written on the Lake on my Way Back to the Retreat at Stone Cliff
On Climbing the Highest Peak of Stone Gate
Setting out at Night from the Pavilion at Stone Pass
On Founding a Retreat for the Sangha at Stone Cliff

Huineng (638–713)
Bodhi originally has no tree
If evil flowers bloom in the mind-ground
Deluded, a Buddha is a sentient being

Wang Wei (?701–761)
Enjoying the Cool
An Autumn Evening in the Hills
Seeking a Night’s Lodging at the Monastery of the Chan Master Daoyi
The Wang River Collection
In my Lodge at Wang Chuan after a Long Rain
Light Lines on a Flat Rock
Green Creek
Suffering from the Heat
Living in the Hills: Impromptu Verses
Stone Gate Monastery on Mount Lantian
Visiting the Forest Pavilion of the Recluse, Cui Xingzong, with Lu Xiang
Farm House on the Wei Stream
In the Hills
Weeping for Ying Yao
Zhongnan Retreat
On Missing my Way to the Monastery of Heaped Fragrance
Sitting Alone on an Autumn Night

Liu Changqing (?710-?85)
On Parting with the Buddhist Pilgrim Lingche
Rejoicing that the Zen Master Bao Has Arrived from Dragon Mountain

Hanshan (?8th century)
A thousand clouds among a myriad streams
When men see Han-shan
When the men of the world look for this path amid the clouds
Men ask the way to Cold Mountain
Cold cliffs, more beautiful the deeper you enter
Clambering up the Cold Mountain path
As for me, I delight in the everyday Way
So Han-shan writes you these words
A telling analogy for life and death
In the third month when the silkworms were still small
Why am I always so depressed?
Parrots dwell in the west country
I sit and gaze on this highest peak of all
Yesterday I saw the trees by the river’s edge
Man, living in the dust
My mind is like the autumn moon

Shide (?8th century)
You can see the moon’s brightness
Far, faraway, steep mountain paths
I laugh at my failing strength in old age

Sami Manzei (8th century)
To what shall I compare the world?

Chang Jian (fl. 749)
Dhyana’s Hall
At Wang Changling’s Retreat

Jiaoran (730–99)
Looking for Lu Hongjian but Failing to Find Him

Bai Juyi (772–846)
Idle Droning
A Flower?
Realizing the Futility of Life
On his Baldness
Night Snow
The Temple
At Yiye Temple

Liu Zongyuan (773–819)
Meditation Hall
An Early Morning Visit to the Buddhist Priest Chao to Read the Chan Scriptures

Jia Dao (779–845)
Looking for the Recluse and Not Finding Him Home
Southern Study

Guanxiu (832–912)
To an Old Monk on Mount Tian Tai

Jianzhang (10th century)
Written on Master Hengzhao’s Wall

Weifeng (10th century)
Grieving for Zen Master Jianzhang

Su Dongpo (1037–1101)
On the Winter Festival I Visited Lone Mountain and the Two Monks Huijin and Huisi
Written on Abbot Lun’s Wall at Mount Jiao
The murmuring brook is the Buddha’s long, broad tongue
The Lyre
Flower Shadows
Spring Night
Days of Rain; the Rivers Have Overflowed
Passing Over Dayu Peak
The Southern Room over the River
Recalling the Old Days at Mianchi
Moving to Lin’gao Pavilion
Enjoying the Peonies at the Temple of Good Fortune
Presented to Tanxiu
The Weaker the Wine
Sending Off Chan Master Xiaoben to Fayun
Abbot Zhan’s Cell
Written on the Wall at Xilin Temple

Chen Shidao (1052–1102)

Saigyo (1118–90)
Every single thing
The winds of spring
Trailing on the wind

Fan Chengda (1126–93)
To ‘‘Eyes’ Fascination’’

Yang Wanli (1127–1206)
The Boatman’s Flute
Making Fire in the Boat on a Snowy Day
Red Peonies in a Jar
The Cold Lantern
Passing the Pavilion on Shenzhu Bridge
Spending the Night at the River-Port Pool Rock
Rising Early
The Morning Ferry
Staying Overnight at Xiaosha Stream
During an Intercalary August After the ‘‘Arrival of Autumn’’ It Was Hot in the Evening and I Went to Be Cool in the Prefectural Garden
The Twin Pagodas of Orchid Stream
Don’t Read Books!

Jakuren (?1139–1202)
On Seeing the First Bloom of the Lotus

Myoe (1173–1232)
Watching the Moon Go Down
Bright bright!

Kigen Dogen (1200–53)
Coming, going, the waterfowl
Depending on Neither Words nor Letters
Worship Service

Kokan Shiren (1278–1345)
Impromptu Poem
Winter Moon
Winter Moon (2)
Summer Night

Jakushitsu Genko (1290–1367)
Refreshing, the wind against the waterfall
Cold Night: Impromptu

Sesson Yubai (1290–1346)
Autumn’s Whiteness
In heaven and earth, no ground to plant my single staff
Staying at Luyuan Temple: Wang Wei’s Former Residence

Betsugen Enshi (1294–1364)
Miscellaneous Poems from My Lair
Rhyming with the Priest Caoan’s Poem ‘‘Living in the Mountains’’

Paegun (1299–1375)
In the Mountain

Chugan Engetsu (1300–75)
At Tomo Harbor
Imitating the Old Style
In China: Sick with Malarial Fever

T’aego (1301–82)
Herding the Ox in the Himalayas
At Deathbed

Ryusen Reisai (d.1360)
To Rhyme with a Poem by My Old Teacher: Sick in Winter

Ryushu Shutaku (1308–88)
For all these years, my certain Zen
Sweeping Leaves

Naong (1320–76)
In the Mountains

Gido Shushin (1325–88)
Inscription over his Door
Camellia Blossoms
Hymn for Offering Incense Upon the Buddha’s Attainment of the Path
Inscribed on the Pavilion of Moon on the Water: Two Poems
Improvisation Upon Leaving the Nanzenji to Go Into Retirement
Poem Rhyming with Monk San’s ‘‘Trip to Kanazawa –Recalling Old Times’’
Rohatsu: To Show to My Disciples
Two Scenes Inscribed on a Screen
In Response to a Request to ‘‘Explain the Secret Teaching’’
The Painted Fan

Zekkai Chushin (1336–1405)
An Old Temple
The void has collapsed upon the earth
Dwelling in the Mountains: A Poem Rhyming with Chanyue’s

Ikkyu Sojun (1394–1481)
Like dew that vanishes
Contemplating the Law, reading sutras, trying to be a real master
Sunset in a Fishing Village

Shinkei (1406–75)
Foothills beneath a deepening pall of snow
Such a mind, is, indeed, that of a Buddha!
As darkness falls
Without understanding
Invisible as the wind to the eye
Soul mad with longing
‘‘If it be so, so be it!’’
A temporary lodging

Sogi (1421–1502)
They come about on their own

Yuan Hongdao (1568–1610)
Saying Goodbye to the Monk Wunian
On Receiving My Letter of Termination
Writing Down What I See

Matsuo Basho (1644–94)
On dead branches crows remain perched at autumn’s end
The sea dark
On the mountain road the sun arose
Coming this mountain way
The whitebait opens its black eyes
Asleep within the grave

Hakuin (1685–1768)
Priceless is one’s incantation
Past, present, future
You no sooner attain the great void

Ryokan (1758–1831)
My house is buried in the deepest recess of the forest
Green spring, start of the second month
I am imprisoned in my cottage among the solitary hills
Begging food, I went to the city
At an old temple
In the still night by the vacant window
My beloved friend
Good manners and sweet habits have faded, year after year
Our life in this world
You mustn’t suppose
Since I began to climb this steep path of discipline
Foothills far below
If anyone asks
The wind is gentle
Here are the ruins of the cottage where I once hid myself
All my life too lazy to try and get ahead
On the Death of Yukinori
I have a walking stick

Gong Zizhen (1792–1841)
From Spring to Autumn of 1827 Some Things Came to Me Which I Wrote Down Haphazardly
A Renunciation of Wit


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)