Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Meditation and Poetics - 89 - Haiku - 2 (Zenrin-kushu continues)

                                             ["..the wave exhibits the spiritual nature of the moon"] 

 [Allen continues with his reading from R.H.Blyth’s classic anthology of Japanese haiku]
     
AG: So this one that follows covers a great gap of time without actually mentioning the years properly, directly – “Meeting, the two friends laugh aloud./In the grove, the fallen leafs are many.” - [Allen repeats this allegedly Confucian poem] - “Meeting, the two friends laugh aloud./In the grove, the fallen leafs are many.” – [and continues]:

“The cock announces the dawn in the evening./The sun is bright at midnight.”
“The cries of the monkeys echo through the dense forest./ In the clear water, the wild geese are mirrored deep.”   - [he repeats this poem too]

Sight, sound. Both the flash of sight and sound. Not the direct thing but the echo or the mirror:

“The wooden cock crows at midnight/The straw dog barks at the clear sky.”

“Entering the forest, he doesn’t disturb a blade of grass./ Entering the water, he doesn’t cause a ripple.”

“One word determines the whole world./ One sword pacifies heaven and earth.”

“The plum tree, dwindling, contains less of spring,/But the garden is wider, and holds more of the moon.”

(This is actually Williams-esque, the following (one), Williams-esque instructions for how to deal with presentation rather than reference):
“The tree manifests the bodily power of the wind./ The wave exhibits the spiritual nature of the moon.”
(“The tree manifests the bodily power of the wind”.. So, if you want to describe your big wind, just (portray) your tree as flashing – “The wave exhibits the spiritual nature of the moon.” 

So this is somewhat the same argument we were having at the end of the last class with my constant insistence on beginning with “minute particulars”:

“From of old there were not two paths./ Those who arrived all walked the same road.”

“In the vast inane there is no back or front./ The path of the bird annihilates East and West.
(That was always my favorite – referring to conceptual mind – ““In the vast inane there is no back or front./ The path of the bird annihilates East and West.”)
Student: In the what?
AG: “In the vast inane..” – I-N-A-N-E – there is no back or front.
Student: What is the..
AG: What is “the vast inane”?  Right here.
Student: (What does “inane” mean?)
AG: Oh, inane – inanity - like meaningless, dumb, crazy - the inanity -  “What an inane question, “What is inanity”!” You know, “inane”?
Student: Allen?
AG: Remember “i-nane?”
Student(s): I name?
AG: I-nane
Student(s): In-ane.
AG: Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all my life. I’ve told you it was I-nane – and vast – “In-ane”. Okay – “In the vast  inane there is no back or front.”
”The path of the bird annihilates Boston and New York.”

“Perceiving the sun in the midst of the rain.”/“Ladling out clear water from the depths of the fire.”

This is one that I paraphrased in Wichita Vortex Sutra” – “When a bomb is dropped on Saigon,/ a woman screams equal in Hanoi” – or, “When a bomb bursts on East 11th Street” - (that’s where the Weathermen blew their house up) - “When a bomb bursts on East 11th Street,/ a woman screams equal in Hanoi”.
“When a cow in Kaishu eats mulberry leaves,/ the belly of a horse in Ekishu is distended.” – [Allen repeats the lines] – In other words, when a cow in New York State eats mulberry leaves, the belly of a horse in Japan blows up.

“To have the sun and moon in one sleeve./ To hold the universe in the palm of one’s hand.”

So, after reading these, I’ll go (next) to (William) Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence", because they’re perfectly parallel and they come from the same mind.

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