The winds have died, but flowers go on falling

by Ryokan

English version by Sam Hamill
Original Language Japanese

The winds have died, but flowers go on falling;
birds call, but silence penetrates each song.

The Mystery! Unknowable, unlearnable.
The virtue of Kannon.

-- from The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library), Edited by Sam Hamill / Edited by J. P. Seaton

<<Previous Poem | More Poems by Ryokan | Next Poem >>


/ Photo by fotologic /


View All Poems by Ryokan

Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I like the way this short Zen poem taps into the melancholy of autumn. That meditative ache leads us to something deeper, a quiet awareness of subtle life continuing steadily beneath the ebb and flow of outer phenomena -- The Mystery!

(And the reference to Kannon -- that's the Japanese name for Kwan Yin, the female boddhisattva of compassion, healing, and providence, a sort of mother goddess figure in some strands of Buddhism.)



Recommended Books: Ryokan

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan Haiku: The Gentle Art of Disappearing Between the Floating Mist: Poems of Ryokan
More Books >>





The winds have died