P'u-t'o Temple

by Yuan Mei

English version by J. P. Seaton
Original Language Chinese

A temple, hidden, treasured
                    in the mountain's cleft
Pines, bamboo
               such a subtle flavor:
The ancient Buddha sits there, wordless
The welling source speaks for him.

-- from A Drifting Boat: Chinese Zen Poetry, Edited by J. P. Seaton / Edited by Dennis Maloney

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

This poem feels like a brush painting. A few simple strokes suggest the scene: A temple. A mountain's cleft. Pines, bamboo. A Buddha.

That's all we need to be brought, with the Buddha, to wordlessness and the "welling source." Mm.

Recommended Books: Yuan Mei

The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) A Drifting Boat: Chinese Zen Poetry I Don't Bow to Buddhas: Selected Poems of Yuan Mei Yuan Mei: Eighteenth Century Chinese Poet Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories of Yuan Mei

P'u-t'o Temple