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Poems

QUATRAIN 549

We take long trips.

We puzzle over the meaning of a painting or of a book,

when what we're wanting to see and understand in this world, we are that.


Jelaluddin Rumi

translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks

 

The PLEASURES of MERELY CIRCULATING

The garden flew around with the angel,

The angel flew round with the clouds,

And the clouds flew round and the clouds flew round

And the clouds flew round with the clouds.


Is there any secret in skulls,

The cattle skulls in the woods?

Do the drummers in black hoods

Rumble anything out of their drums?


Mrs. Anderson's Swedish baby

Might well have been German or Spanish

But that things go round and again go round

Has rather a classical sound.


Wallace Stevens

The Palm at the End of the Mind

 

AT THE WASHING OF MY SON

Everybody wants an intelligent son.

My intelligence only got me into difficulties.

I want only a brave and simple boy,

Who, without trouble or resistance,

Will rise to the highest offices.


SU TUNG P'O

Translated by Kenneth Rexroth

 

 

THE REAL WORK

It may be that when we no longer know what to do

we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go

we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

Wendell Berry

 

 

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