Monday, June 20, 2011

COLD MOUNTAIN


Many  thanks to Anne Gleeson and Steve Lamb for opening their home in Daylesford for a wonderful reading of Han Shan poetry by Richard Perry Emeritus Professor of Visual Arts at York University, Toronto, who has also taught Zen Buddhist painting and poetry at the Victorian College of Arts. It was incredibly enriching to hear Richard read these poems so beautifully and to enhance the reading with his knowledge of both Zen and poetry. Our questions were at times naive and at times raising the unanswerable paradox of translation by poets and academics.




The path to Han-Shan’s place is laughable,
A path, but no sign of cart or horse.
Converging gorges - hard to trace their twists
Jumbled cliffs - unbelievably rugged.
A thousand grasses bend with dew,
A hill of pines hums in the wind.
And now I've lost the shortcut home,
Body asking shadow, how do you keep up?        (Translation by Gary Snyder).


I hold to the principle of the Buddha-mind. It is fortunate to meet with men and women of Tao, so I have made this eulogy.

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