Monday, July 07, 2008

Dark Clouds over the Sea of Dreams

IMG_8962 squ
Originally uploaded by jhhymas

This is the first part of a five-part poem by Gu Cheng, Chinese poet, as translated by Joseph R. Allen. It is on pp. 179-180 of Sea of Dreams. [See previous post.] (I cannot make each part indented in this blog--I have indicated the indent by a soft return.)
I'll try to give the other parts of the poem in subsequent posts.


It was a raindrop that first introduced me to poetry.

On the way to my primary school there was a spire-like pine tree, but whenever I passed by it never spoke.

Then one day, after a rain shower, when the world was fresh and clean, that pine tree suddenly was all aglitter, with crystalline raindrops hanging from every needle; at that moment I completely lost touch with my own being. Inside each single drop I saw a raindrop floating; each drop was full of the clear blue sky; each drop held a new world for me . . . .

I knew then that a single small drop of rain was able to contain everything, and to distill everything within it. The world that sparkled within the raindrop was purer and more beautiful than the world within which we live our lives.

Thus, a poem is just that: a raindrop glittering on some tree of the imagination.

------Gu Cheng

No comments:

Post a Comment