Friday 56 & Book Beginnings: Magnolia and Lotus

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I have longed for the School of the Void
to learn with my mind of ashes to sit in Sŏn.
- first lines of the poem "Leaving Home to Enter the Priesthood"

For Friday 56:
In the mirror, whose figure is revealed?
In the valley, you hear your own voice.
Though you see and hear, you have no illusions 
Which place, then, lacks connection?
- p. 56, poem entitled "Choejŏn Asks for Dharma, So I Copy This and Send It"

I always like to try new things and so I was pleasantly surprised when I won this book over at Goodreads. This is a collection of Korean poetry, translated into English. I've been reading so much fiction lately that I figured I needed to change things up a bit! Not sure what to make of it yet,  but you know me, always up for a challenge!

About this book: Chin'gak Kuksa Hyesim (1178–1234) was the first Zen master dedicated to poetry in Korea. Hyesim's poetry, written in the twelfth century became the archetypal in Korean Buddhist literature for more than five hundred years. 
Hyesim's poems: transformative as walking high granite mountains by moonlight, with fragrant herbs underfoot and a thermos of clear tea in the backpack. Their bedrock is thusness, their images' beauty is pellucid and new, their view without limit. The shelf of essential Zen poets for American readers grows larger with this immediately indispensable collection."—Jane Hirshfield 
"His poems speak softly and clearly, like hearing a temple bell that was struck a thousand years ago."—Sam Hamill


  1. Good for you for trying things out of your norm. Poetry and I don't go well together. So we tend to stay away from each other.

    My Friday Post

  2. Fascinating excerpts! Thanks for sharing..and enjoy.



© guiltless readingMaira Gall