Friday, October 11, 2013

Rumi & Shinkichi Takahashi: Two Poems for a Friday Afternoon

Photo by Trabajo Propio

I have lived on the lip 
of insanity, wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door. It opens.
I've been knocking from the inside!
     Rumi  (quatrain #1249)
     translated by Coleman Barks  



Inside of one potato
there are mountains and rivers.
   Shinkichi Takahashi
   translated by Harold P. Wright 

Sometimes, on the surface, it would seem that two poems share little in common. But that's on the surface. What might be their relationship? Is it purely the mind that dovetails their separate meanings, or is it something else?

Certainly, they are both mystical.

These two poems, by two poetic masters, somehow ended up on my radar within the same week. They seem, in a mere 4 and 2 lines respectively, to contain universes. 

Let's leave it at that, eh?

This journey is certainly scenic.


The Moon and the Milky Way by Yoshitoshi


looking pretty
in a hole in the paper door...
Milky Way

translated by David G. Lanoue

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Anonymous said...

and this from a poet who wrote in a poem that he wished to be like "a sweet potato / all dug up". I love the Lucien Stryk translations of Takahashi.

here's to the potatoes of the universe, Don, Donna

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

A regular reader of the blog recommends, in conjunction with this post, William de Kooning's Door to the River.