The Mnemosyne Weekly: Poem Thirteen

Zazen on Ching-t’ing Mountain
by Li Po
Translated by Sam Hamill

This week I’ve selected a perfect little meditative jewel from Li Po–a prime example of how much can happen in so few words. Here we see the power of silence functioning in beautiful conjunction with the power of language. If you’re not familiar with Li Po, he can be found under the names Lǐ Bái and Lǐ Bó, as well, and he lived from 701 – 762 in China. Po was a major poet of the Tang dynasty period, also known as China’s “golden age” of poetry.

If you’re new to the blog, please check out the first Mnemosyne Post to see what this project is all about. And please keep suggesting titles! I always learn the most from the ones I would have never thought to select myself.Have a great week, everyone! I hope you take time to really sit with this poem, perhaps until only the poem remains…

Zazen on Ching-t’ing Mountain
The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.

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