Night on the River

“Mooring on Chien-Te River”

The boat rocks at anchor by the misty island

Sunset, my loneliness comes again.

In these vast wilds the sky arches down to the trees.

In the clear river water, the moon draws near.

Meng Hao-Jen

Translation from the Chinese by Gary Snyder


Photograph kindly contributed to Zen Moments by Sam Cicero

Meng Hao-jan (689–740 C.E.) is generally considered to be one of China’s most important poets. Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism was coming to maturity and becoming widely practiced among the intelligentsia of China. Ch’an not only clarified anew the spiritual ecology of early Taoist thought, it also emphasized the old Taoist idea that deep understanding lies beyond words. In poetry, this gave rise to a much more distilled language, especially in its concise imagism, which opened new inner depths, nonverbal insights, and outright enigma.

It was in the work of Meng Hao-jan that this poetic revolution began, a revolution that marked the beginning of Chinese poetry’s first great flowering. He opened the poetic ground that would be cultivated so productively by the great poets that followed, and he was revered by those poets as their esteemed elder, first master of the short imagistic landscape poem.” Amazon Book Reviews.
More about  Gary Sneyder


National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography

Recommended from Zen Moments Bookstore:

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By Tim Fitzharris

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