Tuesday, August 18, 2009

appear . . . disappear . . .

just for fun,
i have gathered together some of my favourite words
from a group of chinese poets
and placed them next to each other in a kind of poetry collage.


people say the setting sun marks the edge of the sky,
i look towards the edge of the sky, but cannot see my home.
my home's beyond the edge of the clouds,
the road is long, and east or west, i have no-one to ask.

you ask me why the world must rise and fall;
tiny movements start up ripples,
light reflected in the ripples.
look up, look down, i linger on,
i feel as if here on this lake there is another heaven.

i watch a lone sail at the heavens' end. t.e. yanagiwara sailboat in lake near mt. fuji

riches and honours are floating clouds,
white clouds will drift on for all time.
white clouds drift slowly for a thousand years.

as day meets dusk, i close the wooden gate.
returning home, i close the door for now.
the autumn wind enters through the window,
the gauze curtain starts to flutter and fly.

m. matsu urban night scene 4

between the pines, the moon startles my heart.

t. seki misty moonlit night, farmhouse by river

i smile and think of home,
a foreign guest in a foreign land.

i raise my head and look at the bright moon,
and send my feelings a thousand miles in its light.

the path of the sun and moon, seems to come from within.
the splendid milky way, seems to come from inside.
ten thousand things are growing in the radiance.

words by cao cao, cui hao, li gou, yue fu, wang wei, ouyang xiu, meng haoran


Dan Gurney said...

Lovely poem. Reminds me a bit of the refrigerator magnet poetry, some of which is quite memorable. Delwyn does a bit of this sort of poetry in her blog, too, using words cut out and glued together to form new expressions. I guess all communication using words is simply rearranging pre-existing words.

Alaine said...

Very lovely Steven, I loved your compilation of this post and have made a note of those poets and artists. Learning every day! Thankyou.

Kay said...

Beautiful as ever Steven!! esp. like the line 'between the pines, the moon startles my heart'..
Bowie used to write some of his lyrics in this way...it brings up surprise combinations that may not have been thought of.
See you tomorrow!!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Steven: the phrases flow like a golden fish in water . . . one would hardly know you have collaged pieces of different works together. Beautiful. And the images are so perfectly tuned to the thoughts.

David Bowie used to write songs in a similar fashion, but using his own words. He would cut up lyrics he had written and throw them up into the air and reconstruct a new song from the "landing" of the words from several songs. Once I heard that, I realized that all the elaborate meaning I had conferred on what he had written was more my own interpretation of his ripped and collaged words than anything he intended. Then again - maybe it was what his unconscious intended.

Thanks Steven - what you do here always invites musing, re-membering, and wonder-ing.

Seth said...

These are all so lyrical! And there are too many lines here that "are growing in the radiance" to pick a favorite. Thanks.

willow said...

Lovely words and images. Hope you're enjoying your Tuesday, Steven.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a lovely collage of words and images. I love Chinese poetry....

Elizabeth said...

But the poems are yours........
and very lovely too.
there is something about the economy
of much Japanese poetry that is especially lovely.
there is something about playing with words
that gives enormous pleasure.

Eryl Shields said...

Wow! Brilliant, a found poem, I love those; it's as if they were there all along it just took the right person to see.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely words and photographs steven - it is interesting how you can put words together like that and they make perfect sense. I did it once with poetry by RS Thomas - taking lines from ten different poems - the result was a fantastic poem.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had learned more when I live over there for about three years. I did see and enjoy the Japanese culture and their idea of beauty and beautiful things was always built around simplicity. Simple raked gravel at temples is a lake -- things like that and rice paper making and mat weaving...

I love the poem you wrote.

I could have said a lot more over there about what I did but left it as you read it. The other stuff is sorta spooky.

Titus said...

Hello steven, what a gorgeous set of images, both actual and conjured.
"between the pines, the moon startles my heart" touched me. Thank you!

Reya Mellicker said...

Chinese poetry dub! How cool. It all works together, including the beautiful images.

I listened to the Philip Glass from yesterday to see if I have changed my mind but no, I still don't really get his music.

I love John Adams's music, and Steve Reich's, too. Wonder what my problem is with Philip??

steven said...

hello golden fish visitors, i was away for a day on a bike ride about fifty km south of here visiting my mum. so my replies are a little slower than usual. something to get used to though, for soon i will return to my teaching which is another way of saying thankyou to the little part of the world i can affect and which incredibly also gives me an income. imagine!!!

steven said...

hi dan, i have memories of doing this when i was beginning high school and was working on art/writing tasks. it struck me then (as it does now) that soemthimes phrases carry weight and then become more present when juxtaposed with other phrases from elsewhere. i only do this periodically but you're right. delwyn does this as well. i love that language is so malleable. see you. steven

steven said...

hello alaine, these poets wrote incredible poems. if you google each of them and visit the wealth that they left you'll be even richer for it!! thanks for visiting. steven

steven said...

i've not done this before but kay and bonnie - you both referenced bowie in your comments and that intrigues me. i love bowie for four albums - young americans, low, heroes, and lodger. i love his use of words and i didn't know that this one of his creative strategies. how cool!!!! thanks for letting me know - it explains something of how he managed to twist and charm unique expressions and insights out of very small amounts of writing. steven

steven said...

hi seth, as i compiled the pieces and moved them around, i was struck by how strong so many of the single lines were. thanks for your comment. see you again. steven

steven said...

hi willow - well thanks for that - i am enjoying my tuesday actually!! i had a really good bike ride home from my mum's - about fifty five km south of here. i am reading all the lovely blog postings and comments on my own blog. i'm having a super sandwich and beer!!! how much better can life be - oh better even - but i'm very happy with this!!! see you. steven

steven said...

helloc rafty green, thankyou.i'm really just beginning to move from just appreciating western, and japanese poetry, to the poetry of other countries. imagine my fortune and excitement!!!! have a peaceful eving. steven

steven said...

hi elizabeth - mmmm hmmm . . . you're so right on all counts!!!! i love the economy of japanese poetry . . . it gets right inside a moment or an experience, lays it bare, but with almost nothing extra, no embellishment. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi eryl, thanks for that generous comment!!! i think that collage of any sort - words, pictures, a mixture is waiting for someone to unconsciously make the connection. i love kurt schwitters and hugo ball's work for that very reason - there it is!!! have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hello weaver, thankyou. some of it is pure serendipitous fortune. some of it is intention. some of it is beyond both! it's real fun and real work all mixed together. have a lovely evening in the valley. steven

steven said...

hi abe - so often we leave something like your experience of japan and then look back and think - man i wish my eyes had been open wider, differently, something. but you saw what you saw - beautiful and ugly - i've no doubt. thanks for the generous comment. steven

steven said...

hi titus - really!! how beautiful is that phrase?!!! doesn't it just say exactly what that moment truly is!!!! i'm glad you visited.... steven

steven said...

hi reya, see i like john adam's but steve reich's music is difficult for me to get. a lot of glass' music bugs me because i can't keep focussed long enough and also so much of it seems like the tiniest one hair brush variations. but, i do love the colour and the feeling of the flutes like little birds that glass uses but brass has always always bugged me. i love his string sounds and i especially love the way he uses women's voices. they are strong and come from deep inside themselves. thanks for your kind comments about my chinese poetry dub piece. steven

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Hi Steven! Poetry collage, I love it. I love poetry. Poetry finds a way into the soul and weaves it way through the body, mind, and soul.

I know the feeling "i feel as if here on this lake there is another heaven."

Thanks for you visit today. A guy who loves poetry and animals...


steven said...

hello sixpence, thanks! it was total fun and work creating it but the coolest part was finding out about all these amazing writers from china who i'd never read before. some of the phrases they use blew me away. thanks for your nice comments. i hope you come back and read the amazing pieces that are going to be linked here tomorrow to my "transformative moment" meme. i've already read some and they are absolutely amazing!! see you. steven

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Gathered threads
Newly woven
Into a most beautiful
Parts redefined
Into a new whole
You, the collector
And the creator
And I, the receiver
Of delight.

Thank You Steven.

Rose Marie

steven said...

rose marie, thankyou for gracing my reassemblage of the chinese master's works with your own beautiful writing!!!! you saw what i was doing!!! so lovely!!!