Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Taoist Poetry

Generally speaking, I'm not one to read poetry. So, I have no earthly idea why I performed a search for "Taoist Poets" this morning. But this search I did perform and I found one site that looked halfway interesting, if a person was interested in that sort of thing!

Here is one of the poems I found.
Looking For A Monk And Not Finding Him
by Li Po (translated by Rewi Allen)

I took a small path leading
up a hill valley, finding there
a temple, its gate covered
with moss, and in front of
the door but tracks of birds;
in the room of the old monk
no one was living, and I
staring through the window
saw but a hair duster hanging
on the wall, itself covered
with dust; emptily I sighed
thinking to go, but then
turning back several times,
seeing how the mist on
the hills was flying, and then
a light rain fell as if it
were flowers falling from
the sky, making a music of
its own; away in the distance
came the cry of a monkey, and
for me the cares of the world
slipped away, and I was filled
with the beauty around me.


  1. Thank you RT for finding this beautiful poem. I put this post on my FB wall

  2. I believe the translator is actually Rewi ALLEY, a very interesting guy, one of those westerners involved in the development of socialism/communism in China in the '30s. You may be interested to know who he was: (from Wikipedia)

    "Rewi Alley, 路易•艾黎, Lùyì Àilí, QSO, (2 December 1897 - 27 December 1987), was a New Zealand-born writer, educator, social reformer, potter, and member of the Communist Party of China.

    Rewi Alley was a prolific western writer about 20th century China, and especially about the Communist revolution. He dedicated 60 years of his life to the cause of the Communist Party of China, and was a key figure in the establishment of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives, and technical training schools, including the Peili Vocational Institute in Beijing."

    Alos, W.S. Merwin, America's current poet laureate, who lives in Hawaii, has done a number of poems as responses to poems of Li Po and others.

  3. Nicolas,
    Glad to be of service. :)

    Thanks for the info. I simply pasted the name from the site I linked to. I will definitely check out Wikipedia as you suggest!


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