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Thread: ARTS: Poetry — What are you reading?

  1. #1
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    ARTS: Poetry — What are you reading?

    Hello Everyone!

    When it comes to poetry, what are you reading these days? If you’re not currently reading anything particular, what are some of your favorite poets/poetry books?

    If you’d like to share, please respond below and consider including a photo of the book(s) as well (a simple list is fine though).

    Just like my tea cabinet, I like to keep a number of poetry books within arm’s reach and “sip” from one or two of them each day.

    Currently, I’m spending most of my reading time with the following books (although this can change on a whim):

    • Happy Life by David Budbill
    • The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse translated by Red Pine
    • This Present Moment by Gary Snyder
    • The Voice at 3:00 A.M. by Charles Simic
    • Jane Kenyon’s Collected Poems
    • The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth (the black hardcover in the below photo)


    Let’s use this thread to share updates on what we are all reading from time to time. There is so much great poetry out there, and I find that personal recommendations are often the best way to learn about new books to read.

    Happy reading!

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-


    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  2. #2
    Thank you Seikan

    You've inspired me to dig into 'The Complete Cold Mountain. Poems by the legendary hermit Hanshan' Trans. Kazuaki Tanahashi & Peter Levitt.

    It's been sitting on my tablet for over a year! Maybe I'll give writing a whirl too...maybe!

    Gassho, Yokai (Chris) sat/lah

  3. #3
    Have been sticking to Bood things currently. Hsin hsin ming, acupuncture needle, grass hut, Stonehouse. Then there's this quite odd book, Zengo -- a study of well known zen phrases such as "the cypress tree in the courtyard" -- these phrases are poetry on the surface, fire and ice beneath. _()_

    gassho
    ds sat/lah

    久須本文雄 Kusumoto Bun’yū (1907-1995)
    Zengo nyūmon
    禅語入門
    Tokyo: 大法輪閣 Daihōrin-kaku Co. Ltd., 1982 An Introduction to Zen Words and Phrases
    Translated by Michael D. Ruymar (Michael Sōru Ruymar)
    Visiting unsui, take with salt. तस्माद् अस्तित्वनास्तित्वे नाश्रीयेत विचक्षणः।

  4. #4
    There is some Red Pine and Cold Mountain in this playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...lwMtmc7R9q-E8n

    gassho
    ds sat and lah today
    Visiting unsui, take with salt. तस्माद् अस्तित्वनास्तित्वे नाश्रीयेत विचक्षणः।

  5. #5
    Member Seikan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yokai View Post
    Thank you Seikan

    You've inspired me to dig into 'The Complete Cold Mountain. Poems by the legendary hermit Hanshan' Trans. Kazuaki Tanahashi & Peter Levitt.

    It's been sitting on my tablet for over a year! Maybe I'll give writing a whirl too...maybe!

    Gassho, Yokai (Chris) sat/lah

    Cold Mountain is a treasure for certain! I have the Tanahashi translation as well. Hmm. That would be a nice complement to the Stonehouse book that I'm reading. Perhaps I'll add it back into the current rotation as well.

    Let me know if you dive into it soon.

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -st-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shōnin Risa Bear View Post
    There is some Red Pine and Cold Mountain in this playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...lwMtmc7R9q-E8n

    gassho
    ds sat and lah today

    Shonin,

    Thank you for this. You have so much in this playlist that I'm not familiar with (poetry and beyond!). This is perfect for the next few arctic-like days we're having here in New England.

    And thank you for the Zengo Nyūmon suggestion. I found a copy of that English translation online (https://sites.google.com/site/mdruymar/home). I panicked a bit when I saw that it's over 400 pages, but like many poetry books, it appears to be more of a day hike and not a thru-hike kind of read (if you get my metaphor).



    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -st-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  7. #7
    Shonion Risa Bear, I have added this formal name to my personal spelling list as I have with other priests. and priests-in-training, and I consider these videos essential in my training as a lay person. Thank you for being an accomplished poet. My training as Haiku. and Sonnet practictioner has been underway since I entered these threads. However, my training at Colorado State Universith was primarily in free verse. I know that Robert Frost considered free verse like playing tennis without a net. I purshasd your book, Shonin Risa Bear, a truly beautiful Zen poetry book of a house holder, hut holder. I am a House Holder, too, but really the house belongs to my wife. In my book Medititations on Gratitude, I wrote a progression of poetry toward a point of denying suicide. In my last poem I will undieing love for my wife, "Marjorie/ Give all to Marjorie." I portraed in the second poem before my last, Brian who disappears has asked me to have coffee before he leaves for North Dakota. I am schedueled to work at my volunteer job. He begs me, but I say "no" not knowing what this means. His sister calls later to say he took his own life. Fiinally in my mid-sixtiys, I renounce suicide, suicide my exit at the last, this shortly before I entered Treeleaf. I was stuned with his death, and at the funeral his sister gives me his 22-year madallion. I had given this Brian to mark his anniversary of sobriey. When this happens at the funeral, I begin to cry, for I had asked for the madalion from my good friend. She makes sure I recieve this marker in his life. It's odd, but people like me often say that their only goal is to die sober. Often I think of Brian. and I think to myself, "Yes, he died sober!" I find meanining in his tragedy, for I had given Brian this chip. Today I say, "My goal to die a natural death, and die I want to be sober." Until the end I want to be there for my family. My wife and I are close. We care deeply about each other. In the final poem I explain in beautiful language, I will everything to my wife, everthing I own. All my love is my greatest gift. I want most to die sober for myself and for her. In these videos, and even with our own Treeleaf Zendo priests, what happens at time of death? Are they married, and will someone mourn for them? Certainly they will die sober, for we take vows to undetake toe Precepts. William Carlos Williams writes of the dead body in one of his poems. Is the body an ugly thing? Is that why many cremate the bodies? Brian was cremated. He had little to leave his lady friend. Did the family take all. My wife will mourn for me. Brian spoke often of his lady friend, "My lady friend." I never met her, but Brian was very Ill with a nerve disorder. When I think of Brian, I feel that people like me are like Zen Priests because each year claim humility at our "Birthday," I am 33-years old though 69 and in a creamony we recieve our madallions marking that year. Sometimes poety is read, often passages from the Book which has helped us to stay sober. Most of my madallions I gave to the club, not from 25 on. I love my wife and she will get everythig, not my madallions which will go back to the club. What happens to the belongings of monks and priests? Do they give all to Zendos, does someone mark the passing? Who gets the belongings? Nothing in any video has told if this is natural passing, and, of course, who will mourn.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 01-29-2021 at 08:21 PM. Reason: concision, spelling. my grammar checker says 9+ errors.
    "Nothing is so beautiful as spring--/ When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush: Thrush eggs look little low heavens, and thrush/ Through the echoing timber does not rise and wring/ The ear it strikes like lightening to hear him sing;.." Hopkins

  8. #8
    You are very kind, Tai shi. Concerning the matter of belongings of the deceased, here in the West it is all about wills and families, perhaps elsewhere as well, but historically there were strict rules about it in the Ch'an and Zen monasteries. A sample (going well beyond three sentences here) from the Chanyuan Quinggui:

    A placard is hung announcing the auction of the deceased monk’s possessions to the assembly. While the bell is rung, everyone enters the hall. First, there is chanting for the deceased monk, then the chief seat is invited to examine the seal of the deceased’s property before opening it in front of the assembly. The possessions should be displayed in the hall before the bell is rung. The items are auctioned one at a time, after which the rector again leads the chanting .... Other than the enlightenment that comes with spiritual cultivation, which is the chief goal for all those who have renounced the world, monks should seek to acquire nothing but their clothes and a bowl. They should not accumulate property, which leads to avarice. A monk should prevent the possibility that, on the day of the auction after his death, the assembly will sit too long and become distressed because of the excessive number of belongings to be auctioned.
    The idea is that funeral expenses should be recovered, with the remainder going to the needs of the monastery, and perhaps in case of need, to the needs of the surrounding community, with the understanding that there is not much, because a monk should in a sense have had no possessions other than the sun, the moon, and the river. _()_

    gassho
    doyu shonin sat today and lah
    Last edited by Shōnin Risa Bear; 01-29-2021 at 09:18 PM.
    Visiting unsui, take with salt. तस्माद् अस्तित्वनास्तित्वे नाश्रीयेत विचक्षणः।

  9. #9
    I am beginning to read Snow Country by the Nobel Prize winning Kawabata, is the family name Yasunari? Jundo could tell us. I am impressed so far with description of these Japanese mountains, unreality of stark bare landscape as train resumes with Gishi playing with man ahead, who will find her, Comentary at the beginning of this masterpiece says it is built in structure arounds Haiku, and this is one of Japans greatest modern works of fiction, Haiku is metaphore.
    sat/ lah
    Tai shi
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 01-30-2021 at 07:04 AM.
    "Nothing is so beautiful as spring--/ When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush: Thrush eggs look little low heavens, and thrush/ Through the echoing timber does not rise and wring/ The ear it strikes like lightening to hear him sing;.." Hopkins

  10. #10
    I am still reading the Tanahashi/Levitt translation of The Complete Cold Mountain. For anyone else doing this, there is a great series of podcast talks from Upaya in which the authors explore this:

    https://www.upaya.org/2020/06/levitt...nshan-7-parts/

    Snow Country sounds great, Tai Shi!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  11. #11
    Member Seikan's Avatar
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    Seems like Han Shan/Cold Mountain is proving to still be a popular read around here. Nice!

    Tai Shi, thanks for the recommendation of Snow Country. That looks like one that I need to add to my wish list.

    Between an online order and a visit to a favorite used book shop yesterday, I've added the following books to my collection this week (see photo). Now to stop acquiring books and put more time into reading them...

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  12. #12
    Nice choices, Seikan! I have two of those. The Chiyo-ni one has always seemed prohibitively expensive when I have looked.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Nice choices, Seikan! I have two of those. The Chiyo-ni one has always seemed prohibitively expensive when I have looked.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    Kokuu,

    The Chiyo-ni was an unexpected surprise. Being used (but in mint condition) it was only $8, so I couldn't pass it up. I'll let you know what I think once I get into it.

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -st-


    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  14. #14
    I've moved over to Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh. I am happy. I smile. I breathe out I smile. I breathe in I am happy. Someday I will return to Snow Mountains.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    "Nothing is so beautiful as spring--/ When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush: Thrush eggs look little low heavens, and thrush/ Through the echoing timber does not rise and wring/ The ear it strikes like lightening to hear him sing;.." Hopkins

  15. #15
    I've moved over to Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh. I am happy. I smile. I breathe out I smile. I breathe in I am happy. I am Peace. Someday I will return to Snow Country.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 02-07-2021 at 04:59 PM. Reason: concision, spelling.
    "Nothing is so beautiful as spring--/ When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush: Thrush eggs look little low heavens, and thrush/ Through the echoing timber does not rise and wring/ The ear it strikes like lightening to hear him sing;.." Hopkins

  16. #16
    I am currently read the poetry of Robert Frost.

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  17. #17
    I’ve been flipping through an old book of poems I’ve had for years called “The Best Loved Poems of the American People”. Until tonight, I never looked at the first empty page, and now I realize what a treasure I have:

    72111AFB-0DCC-4B60-BAAB-2FA99C3ED50F.jpeg

    It reads:

    “Ernie,

    Remember how we used to read poems to each other? I do. I love you.

    Betty”
    Along with that one of the poems I read today says:

    Through this toilsome world, alas!
    Once and only once I pass;
    If a kindness I may show,
    If it’s a good deed I may do
    To a suffering fellow man,
    Let me do it while I can.
    No delay, for it is plain
    I shall not pass this way again.

    —Unknown

    Gassho,
    Koushi
    ST
    広 Kou (Vast)
    髭 Shi (Beard)

  18. #18
    I’m reading a collection of Haiku: “The River of Heaven - The Haiku of Basho, Buson, Issa and Shiki”, by Robert Aitken.

    Gassho,
    Gareth

    Sat today

  19. #19
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    Thanks everyone! Its great to see such a wide variety of poetry being enjoyed by Treeleaf folks. Keep 'em coming!

    Koushi, I love that poem. Thank you for sharing.

    I also enjoy reading old inscriptions in used books. I have the following collection of poems by Edgar Allan Poe, and while the inscription isn't nearly as touching as the one you shared, I still get a kick out of the fact that this book was given as a present over 130 years ago...

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-



    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by bad_buddha_007 View Post
    I’m reading a collection of Haiku: “The River of Heaven - The Haiku of Basho, Buson, Issa and Shiki”, by Robert Aitken.

    Gassho,
    Gareth

    Sat today
    Oh, I love that collection! Enjoy!

    Gassho,
    Jim
    Stlah

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Yokai View Post
    Thank you Seikan

    You've inspired me to dig into 'The Complete Cold Mountain. Poems by the legendary hermit Hanshan' Trans. Kazuaki Tanahashi & Peter Levitt.

    It's been sitting on my tablet for over a year! Maybe I'll give writing a whirl too...maybe!

    Gassho, Yokai (Chris) sat/lah
    I love this book! I have it on my table and pick it up all the time; thumb to a random page and read a poem; great stuff!

    gassho

    risho
    -stlah

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by JimInBC View Post
    Oh, I love that collection! Enjoy!

    Gassho,
    Jim
    Stlah

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    Thanks, I really like it too. The commentary makes a big difference for me.

    Gassho,
    Gareth

    Sat today

  23. #23
    I still think often of my own death. As my new signature shows. I believe I have learned "impermanence." With this I am a happy man. I will finish Being Peace and I am graduating to metta. Therefore, I will start a wonderful book. I lectured about this book 10 years ago before I understood metta at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church where I had begun an "Insight Meditation" group. This group folded about 10 weeks into it's beginning because I think I did not understand metta. The book I will begin next is called Loving Kindness, and it is a classic. 11 years ago I was not ready for much because I was very ill, but I began my Buddhism with breathe counting which a friend, who I was with just before her passing, had recommended from her book How to Meditate. For many years I have been unable to find this How to Meditate, and I was not entirely truthful with my friend at the time of her passing. That was 1981, and she asked me at her passing, "Are you still with your lady friend?" I said yes. Today that lady friend who I married in 1982 is still my wife, and we have no plans to ever make this otherwise. Today I believe I understand metta largely because of my friend who passed in 1981. After Becoming Peace I will read Loving Kindness about metta. I understand metta today because of Kokuu who has taught me Tonglen. Tonglen evolves naturally out of metta, so the next book I will read is a book I will read with more understanding; Loving Kindness. I read this book in honor of my friend who passed in 1981, and who was the first person to suggest in 1976 that I meditate. She taught me the most I knew about life at that time of my recovery. The book Loving Kindness I think I will understand more. Jundo please do not delete this post because it is not like my old posts, and you know I like to tell stories. It is read with Loving Kindness for my friend who died in 1981. Much metta, the Buddha's words on metta, for our Sangha.
    Gassho
    sat/lah
    Tai Shi
    "Nothing is so beautiful as spring--/ When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush: Thrush eggs look little low heavens, and thrush/ Through the echoing timber does not rise and wring/ The ear it strikes like lightening to hear him sing;.." Hopkins

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