Jun 292013

So these have all been Japanese Zen death poems, from English translations of the original Chinese by an Israeli scholar (Yoel Hoffman). It’s all very confusing. Katsu!

שׁוּנוֹקוּ סוֹאֵן (המאה השבע־עשרה)
שיר מוות

נִסְחָף בֵּין אֶרֶץ לְשָׁמַיִם
אֲנִי קוֹרֵא לַמִּזְרָח וְהוֹפְכוֹ לַמַּעֲרָב,
מֵנִיף אֶת שִׁבְטִי וָשׁוּב חוֹזֵר
אֶל מוֹצָאִי.
  1. Adrift between earth and heaven
    I call to the east and turn it to west,
    brandish my staff and return once again
    to my source.

    (Death poem, Shunoku Soen, 17th century)

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