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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

When I Find You Again It Will be in the Mountains

When I Find You Again, It Will Be In Mountains:

Selected Poems of Chia Tao

Translated by Mike O’Connor

Chia Tao (779-843) died with only two known possessions, a donkey in bad health and a five-string zither.

Chia Tao’s efforts in poetry were to consciously make poetry less beautiful-hopefully, therefore making it more significant and true. His ordinary and plain verse without emotional attachment, offer insight into everyday life. A simple way to just see things. His spare and morally serious poems were friendly reading to me.

Some favorite excerpts:


A solitary cloud

Just has no fixed home.


A lone shadow

Walks on the bottom of a pond;


Now and then, rests beside a tree.


Small clouds, one by one,

Break up, dissolve;

Old trees fall

For firewood.