Monday, January 19, 2015

This Mysterious Joy

 Today the blue sky painted the creek with its bright color.
In the clear air the mountains east of Boise were adorned with gorgeous cloud.
Today's photo of the Little Union Canal was modified in that app called Waterlogue.

Sitting by Myself

In my village, another year has gone floating by;
is there anyplace where we do not lament the passing seasons?
The songs of the birds echo in the valley,
                              sounds scattered in fragments.
The dew streaked chrysanthemums invade the steps,
                               their shadows perfectly round,
When I am free of illness, I watch the emerald waters;
deeply moved, I lie all day in the grey mist.
At sunset, the herdboy's flute seems to match my mood:
I strain some wine, and invite my neighbor
                                to share this mysterious joy.

K'ANG HAI    (1475-1541) (Ming Dynasty)

The Columbia Book of Later Chinese Poetry;
Yuan, Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties (1274-1911)
Translated and Edited by Jonathan Chaves, 
Columbia University Press, 1986, page 248.

After I chose this picture, I knew I wanted an ancient Chinese poem to partner it. First I had to find the book, which I had put away, and then I had to find the poem. When I saw the poet's dates, I couldn't help thinking that "Columbus sailed the ocean blue, in Fourteen hundred ninety-two." Of course they didn't know about each other. . .  So many winters and summers! I have seen a few myself.

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