Aug 04 2017

Li Bai – You ask why I make my home in the mountain forest

Published by at 8:13 am under Poetry

You ask why I make my home in the mountain forest
by Li Bai

English version by Sam Hamill

You ask why I make my home in the mountain forest,
and I smile, and am silent,
and even my soul remains quiet:
it lives in the other world
which no one owns.
The peach trees blossom,
The water flows.

— from Endless River: Li Po and Tu Fu: A Friendship in Poetry, Translated by Sam Hamill


/ Image by neil alejandro /

I thought I’d share a moment of peace…

I smile, and am silent,
and even my soul remains quiet…

These lines bring me to rest.

The mind at rest, the entire self at rest, all silt having settled, leaving only quiet clarity. One becomes empty, a spacious, silent witness to the world’s unfolding.

The peach trees blossom,
The water flows

Have a beautiful weekend!


Recommended Books: Li Bai

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) Endless River: Li Po and Tu Fu: A Friendship in Poetry Li Pai: 200 Selected Poems A Feast of Lanterns
More Books >>


Li Bai, Li Bai poetry, Taoist poetry Li Bai

China (701 – 762) Timeline
Taoist

Li Po (also transliterated as Li Pai or Li Bai) was raised in Szechwan in western China. He traveled widely throughout China in his life.

In his 40s, he was appointed to a high academy position by the emperor in recognition of his work, but he was later exiled for political reasons. He then worked in the service of a southern prince who rose up in rebellion. When that prince lost his struggle, Li Po was exiled a second time, but eventually pardoned.

Li Po’s poetry is particularly known for its elegance. It suggests a certain serene poise in relationship to the world and the quiet mind observing it.

More poetry by Li Bai

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Li Bai – You ask why I make my home in the mountain forest”

  1. Amardeep Singhon 04 Aug 2017 at 9:29 am

    Nice poem and commentary, Ivan. And your thought of the day is great.

    Thanks!

    Amardeep

  2. Carolon 04 Aug 2017 at 10:28 am

    Yes, Ivan, we needed that! So beautiful, Thank You.

    Peace and Love, Carol

  3. jim con 04 Aug 2017 at 11:16 am

    Be still
    and know- –

    found a quiet place years ago
    it helped in troubled times

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