Monday, May 31, 2010

The Power of a Poem 8

Sometimes silence is the answer. Words are cheap.  It is enough to savour the power of now without the weight of words. Therefore, without further ado here is a very short poem on the very subject of silence by Li Po (701-762) a Chinese poet:

Talk in the Mountains

You ask me, 'Why dwell among green mountains?'

I laugh in silence; my soul is quiet.
Peach blossom follows the moving water;
here is a heaven and earth, beyond the world of men.
He also wrote a lovely little verse called Silent Night:

Silent Night

Moonlight floods the end of my bed.
I wonder, has frost fallen?
Sitting up, I look at the moon.
Lying back, I think of home
Then, there is Li Po's meditative reflections on the summer season in the mountains:

Summer in the mountains

Too lazy to shift my white feather fan
I lie naked in the green woods.
Hanging my hat on a rock,
I bear my head to the breeze in the pines.
This last wee verse reminds me of William Blake, of whom I remember reading in Peter Ackroyd's wonderful biography as having a penchant for sitting naked in his garden with his good wife.  So Blake shared this naked freedom with Li Po.  Perhaps we could call them naturists.  However, the point here in these verses is simplicity and its very unadorned nature.

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