Monday, December 28, 2015

ancient air #9

ancient air #9

when Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly
did the butterfly become Zhuang Zhou?

in one body’s effortless metamorphosis
the ten thousand things appear in endless virtue

you know eastern seas pass the isle of immortals
to flow as a clear shallow stream from the west

the man who plants his melons outside Ch’ing Gate
at one time held sway as Lord of Dongling—

the same law governs riches & fame:
abuzz, disquieted, what is it we seek?

Jack Hayes
© 2015
based on Li Bai: 古風 (九)
gǔ fēng (jiǔ)

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons
Zhuangzi Dreaming of a Butterfly:  Shibata Zeshin, 1888, ink on paper, Honolulu Museum of Art, accession 13879.1
Public domain

(the name 莊周 has been Romanized in various ways: Zhuang Zou & Zhuangzi are typical contemporary versions using the simplified pinyin system, while under the older Wade-Giles system the name was typically Chuang Tzu or Chuang Chou)


1 comment:

  1. Those are a couple of darned good questions, Johnny Jack Poetry! I really liked reading this - and I'm sending my best wishes for you in the new year.


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