30 January 2012

Han Shan Poetry

A thousand clouds among a myriad streams
And in their midst a person at his ease.
By day he wanders through the dark green hills,
At night goes home to sleep beneath the cliffs.
Swiftly the changing seasons pass him by,
Tranquil, undefiled, no earthly ties.
Such pleasures! - and on what do they rely?
On a quiet calm, like autumn river water.

Translated by Peter Harris

Once, my back wedded to the solid cliff,
I sat silently, bathed in the full moon's light.
I counted there ten thousand shapes,
None with substance save the moon's own glow.
The pristine mind is empty as the moon,
I thought, and like the moon, freely shines.
By what I knew of moon I knew the mind,
Each mirror to each, profound as stone.

Translated by Peter Stambler

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