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Posts tagged “Li Po

His Dream Of Skyland, A poem by : Li Po

The sound of the sea Nigel Borrington

His Dream Of Skyland
Nigel Borrington

His Dream Of Skyland

The seafarers tell of the Eastern Isle of Bliss,
It is lost in a wilderness of misty sea waves.
But the Sky-land of the south, the Yueh-landers say,
May be seen through cracks of the glimmering cloud.
This land of the sky stretches across the leagues of heaven;
It rises above the Five Mountains and towers over the Scarlet Castle,

While, as if staggering before it, the Tien-tai Peak
Of forty-eight thousand feet leans toward the southeast.

So, longing to dream of the southlands of Wu and Yueh,
I flew across the Mirror Lake one night under the moon.
ode-to-the-coast-034

The moon in the lake followed my flight,
Followed me to the town of Yen-chi.
Here still stands the mansion of Prince Hsieh.
I saw the green waters curl and heard the monkeys’ shrill cries.
I climbed, putting on the clogs of the prince,
Skyward on a ladder of clouds,
And half-way up from the sky-wall I saw the morning sun,
And heard the heaven’s cock crowing in the mid-air.
Now among a thousand precipices my way wound round and round;
Flowers choked the path; I leaned against a rock; I swooned.

Roaring bears and howling dragons roused me –
Oh, the clamorous waters of the rapids!
I trembled in the deep forest, and shuddered at the overhanging crags,
one heaped upon another.
Clouds on clouds gathered above, threatening rain;
The waters gushed below, breaking into mist.

A peal of blasting thunder!
The mountains crumbled.
The stone gate of the hollow heaven
Opened wide, revealing
A vasty realm of azure without bottom,
Sun and moon shining together on gold and silver palaces.

Rainbow over the river suir 1

Clad in rainbow and riding on the wind,
The ladies of the air descended like flower, flakes;
The faery lords trooping in, they were thick as hemp-stalks in the fields.
Phoenix birds circled their cars, and panthers played upon harps.
Bewilderment filled me, and terror seized on my heart.
I lifted myself in amazement, and alas!
I woke and found my bed and pillow –
Gone was the radiant world of gossamer.

So with all pleasures of life.
All things pass with the east-flowing water.
I leave you and go – when shall I return?
Let the white roe feed at will among the green crags,
Let me ride and visit the lovely mountains!
How can I stoop obsequiously and serve the mighty ones!
It stifles my soul.

– Li Po. Translated by: Shigeyoshi Obata


Landscape poems, “His Dream Of Skyland” by Li Po

Storm clouds over the lake

His Dream Of Skyland

The seafarers tell of the Eastern Isle of Bliss,
It is lost in a wilderness of misty sea waves.
But the Sky-land of the south, the Yueh-landers say,
May be seen through cracks of the glimmering cloud.
This land of the sky stretches across the leagues of heaven;
It rises above the Five Mountains and towers over the Scarlet Castle,

While, as if staggering before it, the Tien-tai Peak
Of forty-eight thousand feet leans toward the southeast.

So, longing to dream of the southlands of Wu and Yueh,
I flew across the Mirror Lake one night under the moon.

Derryvilla lake  Littleton bogs County Tipperary Irish landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The moon in the lake followed my flight,
Followed me to the town of Yen-chi.
Here still stands the mansion of Prince Hsieh.
I saw the green waters curl and heard the monkeys’ shrill cries.
I climbed, putting on the clogs of the prince,
Skyward on a ladder of clouds,
And half-way up from the sky-wall I saw the morning sun,
And heard the heaven’s cock crowing in the mid-air.
Now among a thousand precipices my way wound round and round;
Flowers choked the path; I leaned against a rock; I swooned.

Roaring bears and howling dragons roused me –
Oh, the clamorous waters of the rapids!
I trembled in the deep forest, and shuddered at the overhanging crags,
one heaped upon another.
Clouds on clouds gathered above, threatening rain;
The waters gushed below, breaking into mist.

A peal of blasting thunder!
The mountains crumbled.
The stone gate of the hollow heaven
Opened wide, revealing
A vasty realm of azure without bottom,
Sun and moon shining together on gold and silver palaces.

Rainbow over the river suir 1

Clad in rainbow and riding on the wind,
The ladies of the air descended like flower, flakes;
The faery lords trooping in, they were thick as hemp-stalks in the fields.
Phoenix birds circled their cars, and panthers played upon harps.
Bewilderment filled me, and terror seized on my heart.
I lifted myself in amazement, and alas!
I woke and found my bed and pillow –
Gone was the radiant world of gossamer.

So with all pleasures of life.
All things pass with the east-flowing water.
I leave you and go – when shall I return?
Let the white roe feed at will among the green crags,
Let me ride and visit the lovely mountains!
How can I stoop obsequiously and serve the mighty ones!
It stifles my soul.

– Li Po. Translated by: Shigeyoshi Obata


Sunday Evening in the Mountains

West Cork 1

In the Mountains

—Li Bai [Li Po]

Why do I live among the green mountains?

I laugh and don’t answer.

My soul is calm:

It dwells in another heaven and earth

Belonging to no one.

The peach trees are in flower.

The water flows on.

—Li Bai [Li Po]


Green Mountain

When Rhododendron Bloom at the Vee 2
The Comeragh Mountains, Tipperary, Ireland
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Green Mountain

– Li Po. Translated by: A. S. Kline’s

You ask me why I live on Green Mountain ?

I smile in silence and the quiet mind.
Peach petals blow on mountain streams
To earth and skies beyond Humankind.

When Rhododendron Bloom at the Vee 11.

You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain?

I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream
and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.

Green Mountain 1


Slievenamon

Slievenamon dawn
Early morning view of Slievenamon, county Tipperary
Irish Landscape photography, Nigel Borrington

Li Po – Alone Looking at The Mountain

All the birds have flown up and gone;
lonely clouds float leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other –
Only the mountain and I.