Pilgrim of the Clouds: Poems and Essays from Ming Dynasty China 1893996395, 9781893996397

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Pilgrim of the Clouds: Poems and Essays from Ming Dynasty China
 1893996395, 9781893996397

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Pilgrim Of The

Clouds POEMS

AND

ESSAYS

FROM MING CHINA

by Yiian Hung-tao translated by Jonathan Chaves

thkiih^f

L/^S^

MH

Pilgrim

Of The

Clouds

Pilgrim

Of the

Clouds POEMS AND ESSAYS FROM MING CHINA by Ylian Hung-tao translated

by

Jonathan Chaves

WEATHERHILL New York Tokyo

Some

of the

poems

in this collection have appeared in Montemora,

The Virginia Quarterly Review, and

First edition,

First Issue.

1978

Inklings edition, 1992

Published by Weatherhill,

Inc.,

420 Madison Avenue, 15th

Floor,

New York, NY 10017. Protected by copyright under terms of the International Copyright Union; all rights reserved. Except for fair use in book reviews, no part of this book

may be reproduced

any reason by any means, including any method

for

of photographic

reproduction, without permission of the publisher. Printed in the

United

States.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Yuan, Hung-tao, 1568-1610. Pilgrim of the clouds:

poems and

essays from

Ming China

/

by Yuan Hung-tao; translated by Jonathan Chaves. p.

cm.

Translated from Chinese.

ISBN 0-8348-0257-0 1. I.

Yuan, Hung-tao, 1568-1610

Chaves, Jonathan.

II.

PL2698.Y85A24 1992 895.1'8409—dc20

—Translations

into English.

Title.

92-19892 CIP

FOR ANNA, MY WIFE "As long as the sky

" .

.

.

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I

must thank members of the Chinese Poetry

Discussion Group, particularly Nathan Si\in,

Hung

Ming-shui, and Kao Yu-kung. To Ining Lo goes the credit for

Ming

first

calUng

my

attention to the riches of

poetry.

My

wife,

dedicated,

is

Anna

Caraveli Chaves, to

a gifted translator of

has helped iron out several

But

it is

whom

this is

Greek poetry. She

infelicities of

expression.

her unflagging moral support for which

especially grateful.

I

am

INTRODUCTION

Yuan Hung-tao (1568-1610) was one poets and essayists of the

Ming

of the major

d)Tiasty, a period that

has been described as both the culmination of China

s

traditions

and the source of subsequent developments

in China.

Yuan s

two)

within the

falls

short

life

(he died at the age of fony-

"late Ming,"' a

decadence and confusion but also

period of political a time of brilliance

in the arts.

The decades

political

and

social turmoil that

marked

epitomized by the arrogant cruelty of the

is

eunuch Wei Chung-hsien (1568-1627). same year

these

as

Yuan Hung-tao, Wei

favorite of the governess to the

Hsi Tsung

(r.

Bom

eventually

in the

became

a

incompetent emperor

1620-27). Exercising almost

total

power, Wei destroyed his enemies ruthlessly until

12

sent into exile himself, cide.

whereupon he committed

sui-

His corpse was dismembered by imperial decree,

the ultimate degradation in Confucian society.

While the world of the

by the corruption of factors led to the

literati

political

was being shaken

power, various complex

numerous peasant

also characterized the late Ming.

rebellions that

Nor were

the suffer-

and those of the Chinese

ings of the scholar-officials

masses completely unrelated. For example, there was a

remarkable demonstration in Suchou against the

arrest of a respected official

Chung-hsien in which both

commoners took

A

by the agents of Wei

literati

and thousands of

part.

period of deep social problems often becomes a

time of intense intellectual, religious, and activity.

The

late

artistic

Ming was unquestionably such

period. Both painting

and

art historical

a

theory were

13

innovative.

chang

Yuan Hung-tao was

U 555-1 636),

a friend of

Tung

Ch"i-

the leading art theorist. After

conversing with Tung, Yuan was

moved

to reflect;

"The good painter learns from things, not from other painters.

The good philosopher leams from

his

mind,

not from some doctrine. The good poet leams from the panoply of images, not from \sTiters of the past."

Yuan saw ing

a basic principle of indi\'idualism underly-

creati\-it)'

in

all fields.

Late-Mmg philosophy was characterized by

the

reMval of Buddhism, along with the continuing popularity of the

Wang Yang-ming in NeoWang Yang-ming (1472-1529)

School of

Confucian thought.

represents an emphasis on the indi\idual

opposed

to social

person there

is

norms.

Wang

felt

an essentially good

ness" Qiang-chih) in

which we can

mind

as

that within each "intuitive

all trust.

aware-

This con-

14

cept derived ultimately from the classical philosopher

Mencius, but

it

undoubtedly owed

a great deal to

Buddhist influence as well, especially the notion that

each individual has the "Buddha-nature" within and

need only become aware of

Yang-ming

to

it.

triumph in the

For the school of Wang late

Ming was

for indi-

vidualism to replace extreme allegiance to tradition in

Chinese intellectual This those

is

life.

not to deny the continued presence of

who were

outraged by what they considered the of

Wang Yang-ming's

later followers. In their view, the

most offensive of

excessive individualism of

these

on

was

one's

Li

some

Chih (1527-1602).

own

intuitions

and

Li called for

desires,

which he

ated with what he called the "childlike mind."

not surprisingly, one of

rehance

Yuan Hung-tao's

associ-

He

was,

friends. Li

eventually shaved his head and became an unor-

15

dained Buddhist monk.

He

more con-

so incensed his

sen^ative contemporaries that in

1602 he was arrested

and

Li

his writings burned. In

by cutting

jail,

committed suicide

his throat.

In this highly charged environment.

played an important

the

role.

Buddhism

The leading Buddhist was

monk Chu-hung (1535-1615), whose

great

achievement was the unification of Ch'an Buddhism, oriented toward the practice of meditation leading to revelation of one"s innate Buddha-nature,

and Pure

Land Buddhism, which was devotional and

called for

repetition of the

name

of Amitabha, the

Buddha

of the

Western Paradise ("Pure Land"), where the devotee

would hope

mind

is

to gain rebirth.

Chu-hung argued

in fact the Pure Land, without

reality of the

that the

denying the

Pure Land. In other words, he brought

together the intellectual, meditative, and devotional

16

tendencies in

oped more or

Buddhism

first

Ricci. (Yiian

had previously devel-

Chu-hung even debated

less separately.

with one of the Matteo

that

Jesuit missionaries to China,

Hung-tao

also

knew

Ricci,

who

died in Peking in 1610, the same year as Yiian.) Ricci

opposed the Buddhist concept of rebirth and was against the vegetarianism that

He expressed

also

Chu-hung championed.

the Christian position that

man

is

the

"crown of creation," and that animals were intended for

man's benefit.

Chu-hung

instructed Yiian Hung-tao and his

brothers in Buddhist thought and practice. They and their friends organized "Clubs for Releasing Life," in

which the members would

make

recite

offerings, discuss the sutras,

Amitabha's name,

and purchase

animals from butchers and then set them gaining merit.

free,

live

thus

17

No life

matter which aspect of

we have

discussed

ming branch art

theon-

late

—Buddhism,

Mmg

that

Yang-

Tung

and

Yuan Hung-tao was

friend of the central figure mvolved:

Poetr)'

Wang

the

of Xeo-Confucianism. or painting

—we have found

Chih, and

intellectual

Chu-hung.

a

Li

Ch'i-ch ang.

and poetic

theor)' prior to the time of

Yuan

Hung-tao were dominated by orthodox archaism,

which such

glorified eighth-centur}"

as

Tu Fu and

perfection,

and

emulate their

anathema

to

stvles.

to

be

Po were thought

known

an Subprefecture.

Poets

to represent

need only

Needless to sav, this \iew was

Yuan Hung-tao. and

(1570-1624),

came

poetr\".

a wTiter of the present age

tao (1560-1600),

tao

Li

Tang

their

who as the

his elder brother

Tsung-

younger brother Chung-

together constituted what

Kung-an school

their ancestral

(after

Kung-

homeV The Kung-an

18

school advocated direct expression of emotion and individuality.

Yuan

felt

strongly that the

the past" ifu-ku) the

movement

was misguided. He believed

ways of society undergo change,

"In general, things are prized I

am

same

to

as

be authentic, then

your

some man

when

face,

my

that, "as

literature

follow suit." In a letter to a close friend.

If

to "restore

must

Yuan wrote:

they are authentic. face

and how much

cannot be the

less the face of

of antiquity!"

In another

letter,

Yuan

writes that "the greatness

of the T'ang poets lay in their refusal to

model them-

selves

on

style")

looks ahead to the famous paradoxical formu-

lation

by the Ch'ing painter Shih-t'ao (1642-1707):

others." Yiian's use of the term wu-Ja ("no

"The method which consists in following no method is

the perfect method." Obviously, neither

Yuan nor

19

Shih-t'ao art.

is

calling for lack of discipline or chaos in

The point

rather that one should follow one's

is

inner feelings, or "native sensibility" (hsing-ling), rather

than some external authonty. There to

Wang Yang-ming s

is

emphasis on

a clear parallel

'intuitive

aware-

ness."

Yuan Hung-tao"s \iew might be expected, places.

While he

lished poets.

remarkable ion that

of literature led him, as

to find literar}' value in

certainly

admired many of the estab-

Yuan shared with

critic

fiction,

unusual

Chin Sheng-t"an

Li

^d.

Chih and the 1661) the opin-

drama, and even folk songs must be

seen as serious Uterature as well. In traditional China,

novels and plays were barely tolerated as entertain-

ment; they certainly did not qualify as high

same

level

wTiting.

with

And

classical poetr)\ essays,

folk songs

were almost

art,

and

on

the

historical

totally neglected.

20

But Yuan Hung-tao was a friend and admirer of one of the leading

Ming playwrights, T'ang Hsien-tsu

(1550-1616), and in a

list

of his

own

favorite reading,

Yiian casually mentions the great novel Shui-hu chuan

(Water Margin, translated by Pearl Buck as All Brothers)

and the plays of the Yiian dynasty

Men Are

(the gold-

en age of Chinese drama) side by side with the poetry of

Tu Fu and Records

Ch'ien, China's

of the Historian

most respected

historian.

Most contemporary writing says,

because

it

is

by Ssu-ma

will not endure, Yiian

blindly imitative of earUer Works.

But the songs sung by village

women and

children are

a different matter:

These are composed by real resonance!

the

They

Han and Wei

real people, so they

are not slavish imitations of

dynasties; they

the footsteps of the

have

do not follow

High T'ang period. They

in

are

21

produced

they express love,

and

from the inner nature, and

naturally,

human

happiness, anger,

desire. This is

grief, joy,

what makes them worth

savoring.

Yiian also recognized the artistry of the Chinese

shadow-puppet

theater, a

widely disseminated and

form of popular theater

still

performed in countries

such as Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, and Greece. He

was inspired subject, in

to write a

group of three poems on the

one of which he

says:

They may not have bones or sinews, but they have

Yuan obtained which enabled him

spirit!

his chin-shih degree in 1592, to enter the official bureaucracy.

While performing the duties of magistrate of hsien (Suchou), he wrote to his friends:

Wu-

22

It's

not that I'm unwilling to be an

can't help feeling that

grain of

my

heart!

.

1

simply runs against the

it

.

but

official,

superiors

.

visit

you

like

gathering clouds, travelers stop by like drops of rain,

papers pile up like mountains, an ocean of

taxes in cash or grain

work and

write

keep up with

all

must be

morning and

collected:

night,

you

if

still

you

can't

of it!

Far more interesting to Yuan were the hterary gatherings of the Grape Society (P'u-t'ao she) that he

and

his brothers

founded

at the

Ch'ung-kuo Temple

of Peking in 1598; his Buddhist activities, centering

around the important of

monk Chu-hung; all,

the

many

and, perhaps most

journeys he

made

to the

magnificent mountains of China. These journeys inspired Yiian's superb travel essays. his essays that

It

is

clear

from

he often went beyond the paths

to

23

clamber up

cliff

was searching the

hope

through caves. Yuan

faces or to crawl

for

new

that these

experiences in nature, partly in

would breathe new

life

into his

poetry.

Yiian Hung-tao has been

remembered

less for his

poetry than for his other achievements. Yiian's literary theory (shared by his brothers) is

so striking that there

is

Kung-

a tendency to discuss the philosophy of the

an school and ignore the poetry reading of Yiian's poetry reveals greatest poet of the

itself.

him

to

But a careful

be the single

Ming dynasty, more

even than Kao Ch'i (1336-74), to

whom

inventive this title

would be granted by most. Despite his polemics against imitation of the past.

Yuan was not

afraid to write

But he did so in such a to his

own

way

on

traditional themes.

as to apply these

themes

expressive needs. For example, the

poem

24

"Twenty-first

Day

Month"

of the Seventh

(pp.

82-83)

draws heavily on the rich imagery and impressionistic

atmosphere of innumerable poems on the ancient "neglected wife" theme, as well as

on the

elegiac tone

of laments for the dead (tao-wang), but

Yuan

leaves his

sources far behind. Not only does the

poem

appear to

to the first

person of

modulate from the third person the

man

(rather than the

woman,

as

was

traditional),

but the gentle melancholy of the neglected-wife poems

gives

way

to real passion.

This passion

is

not

expressed explicitly, but rather through an almost surreal use of

leaps

imagery and the kinds of imaginative

— between past and present, concrete and waking and dreaming— one expects

abstract,

Lorca or a Neruda. The a

that

last

four lines of the

triumphant synthesis of all these

levels.

of a

poem

are

25

"Making Fun of Myself on People

Similarly, in

Day" (pp. 35-36), the poet purposely takes upon himself evety available stereotyped role in Chinese literati society,

most

characteristic of those roles.

does not wear

plow

while avoiding precisely the actions

is

poem back down Yuan wrote ever)day

who

does not

who

delights in sensuality.

m increasingly exciting imager)^

two

classical allusions bring the

to earth.

a

number

of

common

are beautifully evoked.

early novels:

who

Confucian scholar

lives of the

the storytellers

official

does not

developed

of liberation, until

an

who

read books, a Taoist hermit

The idea

is

farmer

official robes, a

his fields, a

He

He

poems

in

which

the

people he so admired

creates as rich a tapestry^ as

who produced Shui-hu chuan and

other

26

The boatwoman Her

left

hand

.

.

.

steadies a

little girl,

her right works the rudder

A little boy runs out into

.

.

.

the road,

blocks the way, and shouts: "I

am the

King of the Bull Fights!"

In his prose writings too, Yiian creates vignettes of

life

in realms of society that

classical

Chinese

literature.

were rarely depicted in

A

letter to

one of his

uncles offers a rare glimpse of living conditions

among

the urban poor:

Tsung Ping [375-443] has that riches are not as

position not as

was .

.

good

good

said: "I

have found

as poverty

as low."

I

used

a pretentious statement. But

now

Just look in the old temples

and high

to think this I

believe

it.

.

and cold shops

27

along the streets of Ch'ang-an the beggar boys

at

midnight: there

and mendicant monks

are snor-

ing away Uke thunder. Meanwhile, the whitehaired old milUonaires are huddled silken blankets, behind their

ing in vain for just a

bed

among

their

curtains, wish-

moment of shut-eye!

Yuan's poems and essays (which can be regarded as prose

poems

of a sort)

conimue

to

reiam the hveU-

ness and expressiveness that set them apart three hun-

dred and cises of

fift)'

years ago from the dry, academic exer-

many of his

contemporaries.

POEMS BY YUAN HUNG-TAO

Chang Jui-i'u: "Two Men Gazing at a Waterfall." Detail from hanging ink on silk, 120 x 52.2 cm. Collection unknown.

scroll,

31

LEAVING

I

get out of

Po-Hsiang

at

Dawn

bed before sunrise

and, half asleep, climb into

These

official

my carriage.

journeys are like food stuck in the teeth,

homesickness as unpalatable as spoiled water chestnuts!

A girl stands in

front of

an inn, her hair uncombed.

A Buddhist monk boils water in a Not I

little

hut.

intoxicated, but not sober either,

listen as the

morning drum sounds through the

dust.

32

ON RECEIVING News of My Termination The time has come

to devote myself to

my

hiker s stick; 1

must have been

Sick,

I

see returning

A stranger here In

my cup,

eat

my

fill,

them

home

—being

thick wine;

a

monk in a

life!

kind of pardon.

fired is like I

former

being promoted.

get crazy-drunk,

then stagger up the green mountain.

The southern

this

a Buddhist

sect, the

northern

sect, I've tried

all:

hermit has his

own

school of Zen philosophy.

33

A PLAYFUL POEM on Seeing My Poetry at Ting-chou In the pagoda

fill

the

air, like

cover the wall

Sooner or

verses!

here?

the chirping of a

worm;



calligraphy like insects!

later, they'll

or effaced by the

But for now,

Rubbing of Some of

—an ink rubbing of my

Whoever engraved them They

a

be eaten away by the moss

wind and

rain.

my poems have been cut in stone:

my seal-vermilion drips

to the

ground below.

The rubbing would be made from a stone engraving. Paper would be placed over the paper.

A

the stone,

and ink pressed

carefully against

seal might be applied, using vermilion ink.

34

ON MEETING MY ELDER BROTHER Upon Arriving in the Capital

—A Poem on His Recent

You have turned your back on world and chant

Life

the busy crowds of the

to yourself

from secondhand

books.

Your

official

post

is

not important

you have few contacts with people; a long stay in the capital has to

On

your

brought new wrinkles

face.

the cracked walls are portraits of Buddhist

high in the windows, birds' nests can be seen. Editor at the

but

still,

—not

Academy

the greatest job,

be careful of the wind and waves!

monks;

35

MAKING FUN

of Myself on "People Day"

Seventh day of the first month.

This

official

wears no

official sash,

this

farmer pushes no plow,

this

Confucian does not read books,

this recluse

does not

live in the v^'ilds.

In society, he wears lotus leaves for clothes,

among commoners, he

is

decked out

m cap and jade.

His serenity

is

achieved without closing the door,

his teaching

is

done without

This Buddhist this Taoist

monk has

instruction.

long hair and whiskers,

immortal makes love

One moment,

to beautiful

withering away in a silent

the next, bustling through crowds

When he when he

on

women.

forest,

city streets.

sees flowers, he calls for singing girls;

has wine to drink, he

calls for a pair of dice.

36

His body floating

is

as light as a cloud

above the Great Clod.

Try asking the bird, flying in the

"What

clear

pond

reflects

air:

your image?"

How free!

the dragon, curling, leaping,

liberated!

beyond

The

official,

this

world, or in

it.

Liu-hsia Hui, firm, yet harmonious;

or Hermit Yi, pure in his retirement.

— 37

RISING

FROM MY

SICKBED,

I

Saw

the

Moon

as

the Sky Cleared

was

This

the night of the

midautumn moon of

my sickbed,

meet the

the

year

i-ssu

[1605].

Up

from

I

the clouds open, a smile opens

The clouds depart with what's the

moon appears

with the

full

on left

moon

my face. of

my depression;

new good

feelings.

Falling leaves are iced with clear dew,

new

fragrance rises from the thick wine.

This gladness

is still

not deep in

my heart,

but these are embers, ready to burst into flame.

38

DREAMING The dream world cannot be found away from

my pillow

but nowhere on the pillow can

I

find

it.

And when I am in the dream world

my pillow might as well not exist. Awake, I feel my dreams are empty; in dream, the

Can 1 be

waking world has disappeared. waking universe

sure that the

has no pillow beneath If

dream and waking

which

is

fantasy,

it?

alternate,

which

is

real?

39

THE FIRST DAY of Spring—On This the

is

the day the farmer puts

young

girl

the

Gold

down his

plow,

leaves her loom,

the scholar sets aside his books, the official stops collecting taxes, the merchant closes shop, the fisherman hauls in his nets

So

why am

I

the only

.

.

.

man

walking dangerous slopes, under towering

mountains?

Ox Road

40

THE "SLOWLY, SLOWLY" POEM Playfully inscribed on the wall.

The bright moon

slowly, slowly rises,

the green mountains slowly, slowly descend.

The flowering branches

slowly, slowly redden,

the spring colors slowly, slowly fade.

My salary slowly, my teeth slowly,

slowly increases, slowly

fall

out,

my lover's waist slowly,

slowly expands,

my complexion slowly,

slowly ages.

We are low in society in the days of our greatest health,

our pleasure comes

The Goddess

of

when we

are

no longer young.

Good Luck

and the Dark Lady of Bad Luck

41

are with us even' step

we

Even heaven and eanh

and human

society

Where do we look

take.

are imperfect

is full

of ups

for real

—Bow humbly, and ask

and downs.

happiness?

the Masters of Taoist Arts.

42

A RECORD OF MY TRIP

to

Mount She

1

Yellow leaves spiral

down through

the

air;

waterfall spray flies into raindrops.

Patches of moss darken Buddha's face; the stones here have been brushed

by the robes

of a god.

The monks

are tranquil,

though

their kitchen has

few vegetables; the mountain, cold

—not many sparrows

Of themselves, my worries 1

do not have

all

in the flock.

disappear;

to try to forget the world.

2 Height

after height of strange

new words, new

mountain scenes,

ideas in our conversation.

— 43

Wild pines blow

in the

wind

like

hanging manes;

the ancient rocks are covered with mottled scales. I

enter the temple, seek the the

of

monks,

thumb through traveler's

sutras, feel the dustiness of this

life.

You, the Zen master, and

we

dream world

are brothers,

I,

a lover of

way beyond

wine

the people of the world.

— 45

TRAVELING BY BOAT

to

Gold Harbor-

Drinking With San-mu and

How happy

I

feel in the

All along the riverbank

Old farmers river girls

lie

sit

country!



flowers

on

the hedges.

in the fields, crushing Uce:

with their fishing poles, asleep.

The households pay

Wang Hui

in this

little

harbor

their taxes in reeds;

the granan- holds nee duties collected from the barges.

We have a boat and some fresh wine to drink this

happiness has nothing to do with money!

Lan Ying: "Landscap)e Detail

from honing

in the

scroll,

ink

Manner of Wang Meng." Dated J 640. and li^ colors on paper, 95.5 x 37.8

art Art Museum, Princeton University.

46

GETTING UP

in the

Morning After Staying Over-

night at Huan-chu Temple

Hey

there, Yiian

Hung-tao!

Why not get up with the crack of dawn? A hundred thousand universes have been blown by the wind into



I

an ocean of cloud.

throw on

my clothes,

go out and take a look: sure enough, the clouds are stretched out below;

The whole sky such

is

the

is filled

power

with crystal forms

of the

mountain god!

— 47

I

WENT OUT

went

to

Wang's

at night

with the

for drinks.

When

monk

the wine

Liao.

We

had been

served, a great thunderstorm started up. Everyone else flinched

with

fright,

storm went on until

Heaven

is

after

in a dark, ugly

but

fek wonderful.

I

midnight.

mood

rumbling thunder, driving wind and

Books tumble

off the desk, into storage jars;

the children run

And

rain.

and hide under

Master Shan?

—He slams

their beds.

his

fist

on

the table,

shouts out loud,

wets his whistle from a cup of rhinoceros horn

and walks home without a candle flashes of red lightning

lighting his way.

The

48

SAYING GOODBYE

Each

five

years

then grieve It

to the

Monk Wu-nien

we meet

when we must

part.

has taken only three farewells

for fifteen years to pass. I

recall

but

how

was

I

I

tried to study meditation

like the

which grows

yellow poplar for a while

then shrinks again.

A hundred but I

times

1

heard you lecture

my mind remained a tangled knot.

was

who

like a

man bom blind

has never seen red or purple

try explaining the difference to

him

and the more you speak the

more confused

he'll get.

with you

49

I

can't bear to leave

but

it is

you now

impossible for us

to stay together. It is



October

please

let

the river winds are blowing hard;

your hair grow back in

to protect

your head from the cold.

50

CHRYSANTHEMUMS in Winter There are no flowers that never fade, yet here are the still

To to

chrysanthemums,

blooming

in winter.

protect their leaves,

keep them

Now,

chilling

weave

1

fragrant, cut

a

bamboo

trellis;

away the weeds.

our hearts, the cold breaks upon us;

old friends come, bringing wine.

Suddenly,

we remember

the old

man

of the

eastern hedge,

chant his poems out loud, raise our cups in a

"The old 427),

man

toast.

oj the eastern hedge" refers to T'ao Ch'ien (365-

famous for

his love of

couplet on the subject

is:

"I

chrysanthemums. His best-known

pluck chrysanthemums beneath the

eastern hedge, I and, in the distance, see the southern tains."

moun-

— 51

POEM WRITTEN At sunset,

I

lie

the mountains

Green mosses

down seem

for a

to

nap

tumble onto

my pillow.

are reflected in the water;

winds from the I

Willow Lake

at

rice fields

blow through the window.

enjoy myself here, arranging rocks and flowers in the garden,

writing out spells to keep

away crows and bugs.

My drinking companions

are mostly Buddhist

even

when we're drunk, we

This

poem

Lake

to

is

talk

one from a group of

Yuan Hung-tao

in

monks:

about the Void.

three.

A friend

exchange for a Buddhist

gave Willow

statue.

52

Drinking

at the Studio of

There are

many

at

we

pleasures to be enjoyed

your studio:

play chess, have a drinking contest

The waters of the Wei

we

Fang Wei-chin

.

.

.

lap the walls;

see the reflections of sailing boats

in the

Fish

wine jug.

hawks peer down

riverside flowers

fall

at

your brush rack;

among

the chessmen.

We roll up a curtain, meet new poems, chant them out loud as at the catalpa trees.

we look

53

RECENTLY BOUGHT a make my home, so have I

I

on U\ing

I

this

under the moon. wherever

The

it

boat

my peaceful home, wind

may lead.

ask them to be

here like a

my secretaries.

will hire

wood

deep within the

and

written a series of

follo\\ing the

The clouds and mist Ill live

me

as their scribe.

grub,

tree,

travel like the snail,

who

own home.

carries his

—not above —not one roof

Beneath

From

plan to

and waterbirds?

fish Ill

I

in a boat.

make

plan to

fancy boat that

me

this

day on,

a strip of land;

1

tile.

entrust

to the elements.

my body

poems

54

WRITING

DOWN What

The

sun brings

setting

I

See

a pallor to the face of

autumn;

floating clouds gather quickly into clusters.

They

slant

down,

veiling the trees,

only two or three mountains

still

visible in the haze.

My horse glances back at the bridge-spanned river; a

group of monks returns along a path of pine

The

cliff is

too high



1

trees.

can see no temple;

suddenly, through the mist

1

hear

a temple bell.

Ch'en Hung-shou: "Solitary Wanderer Beneath Pine." Album

and

colors

on

silk,

31.7 x 24.9 cm. Nanking Museum.

leaf,

ink

56

ON BOARD a Boat at Chi-ning The mouth of the

Wen River—240 feet wide,

a torrent like a cliff of water, all the

wind

In one night, a

that

way

across.

blows the grain boats

from the south has swept us as

far as the

How many days since In an instant,

1

Nan-wang

left

locks.

my home?

months and months have passed!

Traveling by canal, there's been no fixed schedule

but

now we

should be one stage from Peking.

For a hundred in a dry

I've

wind



li

that

'

a storm of yellow sand

sounds

like

ripped cloth.

long since been competing for a place

at the table;

my body feels sullied by the muddy waves. Thirty years old, and what have

I

accomplished?

— 57

Strive, strive



Compare me

for a cluster of

empty hopes.

to a boat, struggling

which gains one

foot,

and then

upstream,

loses two.

AT WHITE DEER SPRING

A little

fishpond, just over two feet square,

and not

terribly deep.

A pair of goldfish swim in it as freely as

if

in a lake.

Like bones of mountains

among

icy

autumn clouds

tiny stalagmites pierce the rippling surface.

For the

fish,

it is

a question of being alive

they don't worry about the depth of the water.

58

WEST LAKE One day I walk by One day

I sit

One day

1

One day

I lie

This

poem

is

the lake.

by the

lake.

stand by the lake.

by the

one from a

lake.

set of two.

59

"SONGS

of the

Bamboo Branches"

1

At the mouth of the Lung-chou River the water looks like sky:

here the

Waves

women

of

Lung-chou operate the

great boats.

them asks

the traveler,

splashing her face, one of

"Are you scared?

under eight

Watch my boat feet of

list

wind!"

2

The boatwoman has painted eyebrows. Her boat Her

left

is

like a leaf, following the

hand

steadies a

waves of the

little girl,

her right works the rudder,

and her dark

hair, piled

high as a mountain,

stays perfectly in place.

river.

60

AFTER READING

Poems on West Lake

Chi-tien's

How many times have

I

stepped alone

into the boat at

West Lake?

The boatman knows me now and never asks

One

money.

note sung by a bird

breaks the it

for

total silence

sounds from the mountain that slants

below

the setting sun.

This

poem

Tao-chi

(d.

is

one from a group of four. Chi-tien was possibly

1209), a Buddhist

monk

of the Sung dynasty.

61

IMPROVISED on In the second

In the fourth

the

month

month

Children gaze

at

me

I

Road

(1)

returned to

—back on in the

my home

town.

the road again.

narrow

lanes;

across the steam, a scholar laughs out loud.

This

poem

is

one from a group of three.

IMPROVISED on He

the

Road

(2)

rides a thoroughbred, with bridle of red silk.

He wears an

official cap,

and

a robe

embroidered with gold dragons.

A little boy runs

out into the road,

blocks the way, and shouts: "I

am the

This

poem

King of the Bull Fights!"

is

one from a group of six.

62

THINGS EXPERIENCED

Green leaves

start to

wither on the

white waves sweep across the

river.

People gossip of invasions in the

rumors I

fly:

day

There are

east;

"We've sent ships from the north!"

buy some Ch'ii-chou

listen all

trees;

to

many

famous

oranges, spotted with frost;

women singers.

marriage ceremonies here in

Yang-chou flutes

and drums play loud

as night

draws on.

-

Yoshitaka Iriya considers the third and fourth lines to refer

to

Hideyoshi's notorious invasion of Korea in 1592; the Chinese did in fact dispatch ships with troops

cause.

and food

to aid the

Korean

63

HSIN-AN RIVER

The waves here

are

bad

the head winds are terrible; the foliage,

all

From dark

cliffs

the

wild

The

green

we

murmuring

fires

—even

the rocks are green.

hear of ghosts,

wake dragons with

trees are

old— from

their heat.

T'ang-dynasty stock;

the steles, toppled over,

bear Sung-dynasty inscriptions.

Stepping ashore,

who

This

we meet an

claims that ape

poem

is

men

old farmer

inhabit these woods.

one from a group oj ten.

64

ON THE EIGHTEENTH DAY arrived at Ch'i-yang and

left

my

of the twelfth month,

I

From Hsing-kuo

I

boat.

traveled to Hsien-ning, taking a route that emerged at

Ox Commandery. The mountain knife; whirling

snow froze

road was

the skin,

Gold

like the blade of

a

and the sedan-chair

bearers were so miserable they could hardly walk. But there

were mountains everywhere covered with snow crows' necks, others like piles of jewels. This the pleasures of traveling.

on the things

I

Along the way,

I

roots clutching the rocks;

women, speaking with

of a southern accent

.

.

a trace

.

The guide points ahead and says "That's Little

indeed one of

saw, and ended up with sixteen quatrains.

Wild bamboo,

Fork Mountain up

to

like

improvised poems

3

village

is

—some

me:

there!"

— 65

9 Don't be upset that the horses' hoofs are sinking. Don't worry because the cart wheels are stuck in the

Imagine

mud. if

you were alone here with your

walking

stick,

trudging through the

snow

to

look

at the

mountains!

12

Peak

after peak,

bend

after

I

dotted with snow;

bend, cold mountain stream

have a feeling of deja vu\

in a painting

by Wang Wei

I've

seen this place before.

13

A man is walking along a his

head appears above

a

cragg)' ridge; cliff,

then disappears again.

66

A horse

descends a bridge across a stream

and suddenly

is

swallowed by the snow.

16 Pigs tied to the throne of the Heavenly King;

birds nesting in the cap of the Great Judge.

Chickens perch here,

and make

wood from

a

market of

a deer

their

pen forms the

own; gate.

These are Jive poems from the group of sixteen.

Ch'eng Chia-sui: "Landscape with Figures." Leaffrom an album dated 1639, ink on paper, 23.1 x 12.8 cm. National Palace Museum, Taipei.

^.--c

68

CH'ANG-AN There

"IN

is

a

Narrow Road"

She reins in her horse, stands by the watering trough.



Loquats falUng

dogwood

it is

autumn

in bloom.

The

girl is

face

heavy with make-up, hair thick with grease.

from Shansi, a turban on her head,

She plays the zither of twenty-five strings

and wears

gown

a

of scarlet with purple threads.

Smiling, she asks: "Is this

The

title

how they dress down south?"

of this

poem

is

the

name

of a well-known song.

— 69

CLIMBING

MOUNT YANG

Cragg)' rocks, crouching like elephants;

withered pine bark, mottled

From which Is

the

spot did the Crane Immortal take ofP

Dragon Mother possessed of real magic power?

The caves here have

on the

like fish scales.

cliffs live

talking animals;

people

The palace of Wu

fell

who

never say a word.

apart long ago

where can the mins be found?

See Yuan's prose essay on Mount Yang, translated on pp. 110-12

70

MOUNT HUA

CLIMBING

At Shan-sun Pavilion, put on the turban

and become

a pilgrim

and pays

who

visits the

clouds

his respects to the rocks.

The waters have for flowing

a secret

beyond

method this

world;

the mountains are like a drug for lightening the body.

Before the eyes,

Mount Hua

a wall of 10,000 feet.

On If

the robe



a single speck of dust

you come across

before you

know

from the

city.

a chessboard, stay for a while:

it,

the wildflowers

will fade

and bloom

This

poem

is

again.

one from a group of six. According

to legend,

a poet

once met an immortal near the summit of Mount Hua, and they

— 71

played a

game

ojwei-ch'i chess Qapanese go) that lasted through

several changes of the seasons.

stands on

A

Pa^nlionJor Playing Chess

this spot.

AT THE SUMMIT

of

Traveler the Taoist

Shu

Mount

Hua— For My

You have walked everywhere on

the

trod the purple moss,

searched for pine trees on the palm of the great

spirit.

Chang Kai could conjure up from

fog

his native valley;

Tung-fang Shuo in a former could

You

now

command

life

the thunder.

too are a master of Taoist magic,

and you have

a sense of

humor

almost an immortal!

autumn

Fellow

clouds,

72



Lotus Peak

a straight

drop of 40,000

only crazy people ever climb this

Chang

K'ai of the Latter

Han

Tung

wit of the

far.

dynasty was said

jure up fog over an area offive square

famous

feet:

li.

to

be able

to

con-

Tung-fang Shuo was a

Former Han dynasty.

Ch'i-ch'ang: "A Buddhist

Temple Among

Hills

by

a River,

After Chii-jan." Dated 1630. Leaf from an album of eight landscapes, ink on paper, 25 x 16.3 cm. Art Museum, Princeton University.

74

TOGETHER WITH CHU and Tuan Hui-chih and looked out

The place no

is

I

FEl-ERH,

stopped

at the

at

view of South Mountain.

how

old;

the terrace, crumbling

don't ask

when

it

was

built.

Fragrant winds

blow across Wei Family Ridge; brilliant

snow-light

sparkles in

Fan Stream.

The country temple, half-hidden by red maple

I-hsu,

Hsing-chiao Temple

ancient

histories say

Wang

leaves;

people's houses, interspersed

with clumps of blue-green

lotus.

— 75

Across the stream, the mountains are

still

more

we mount our

beautiful

horses,

gallop into the gray mist.

TRAVELING Through

Huai-an by Boat

Three hundred miles along the canal; ten thousand willow branches,

Travel

is

the root of sorrow, clings to

meditation

Homesick, drunk,

I

— I

that

is

the

way

it

like glue;

to control this suffering.

think about fish-on-rice;

dream about clam chowder

More and more, too spider

my broken heart.

.

.

.

lazy to study books,

webs covering

my brush rack.

76

PEI-MANG CEMETERY

Old pine

trees, their

shaggy manes

twirled in a dance

row on row rising

The

lords

by the wind;

of tombs, one wisp of

smoke

from nowhere.

and princes who once

lived

along Bronze Camel Avenue

have become the dust that

settles

on the

traveler's face.

The white poplar on top of the mountain has turned into an old

who

woman

spends each night in the

fields,

chasing away tigers of stone. Officials

come

to this place, face north

toward the Mausoleum of Longevity,

and give thanks

that the

speak Chinese.

crows

who

perch here

77

ON HEARING Become nien



That a Girl of the Tsui Family Has

a Disciple of the

Buddhist Master

Pla>^ully Offered to the Master

She has cut

off her conch-shell hairdo,

thrown away her eyebrow the passions have been

pencil;

quenched by a

single

cup of tea.

Her sandalwood clappers now accompany Sanskrit chanting;

her

silk dress

has been recut:

a makeshift cassock.

The

Master's

mind

reflecting this

His body

is

is

like quiet

water

moon.

a cold forest

putting forth this blossom.

How many times

can she remember

Wu-

78

the

hand

of ordination

on her brow? Generation life

after generation,

after life in,

the family of Buddha!

Shao Mi: "Landscape with Figure, ming." Leaf from an album, ink and National Palace Museum, Taipei.

in the

Manner

light colors

on

of

silk,

Wen

29.6

Cheng-

x 21.2

cm.

80

PAYING MY RESPECTS Monk Ch'ang-erh

to the

The wheel of samsara has come the gleam of the lacquered

Mummy

of the

to a peaceful halt;

body

as fresh as a polished mirror! I

know

that his soul has long since vanished,

but

—amazing! —

He

is

a

a

Buddha

human

So

much

by now,

For

of the

antique,

they

and

teeth are

still

here.

Age of Adornment,

who

has lasted a thousand years.

for artifacts of

bronze or iron

would have turned

details of the

among

his nails

to dust!

remarkable practice of lacquer-mummification

the Chinese Buddhists, see Joseph

Needham, Science and

Civilisation in China, vol. 5, part 2 (Cambridge, 1974), pp.

299ff

81

ROMANTIC SONG Morning



I

come by

the avenue of vermilion

gateways.

Evening



take

my pleasure by bridges over green

waters.

The house of songs



get a

little

drunk and

stay

ten days.

The dancing

girls

here



a

thousand cash

This parrot, groggy with sleep, this

dappled horse, swift of

tries to

at a time!

speak;

foot, gallops

without

being whipped. I'd

rather

spend one night with the goddess of Witch

Mountain than

live

on Mount Kou

Mount Kou was

for a

thousand

years!

the site of the apotheosis of Prince Chin,

took off on the back of a crane to

become immortal.

who

82

TWENTY-FIRST DAY A memory

returned to

Foggy moon,

of the Seventh

me and I wrote

this

Month

down.

birdcalls in the flowers at

dawn,

in cold willow branches, orioles trembled

on the

edge of dream.

The words "Love Each Other" were written on the pillow,

and heavy incense curled from behind the

Her emotion had the

lucidity of

curtains.

calm waters



-

red color came to her cheeks as she smiled!

Back turned

to the lamp, she

changed her damp

nightgown

and asked her lover

to gather

up her

earrings.

Their tears of parting moistened the fragrant

quilt,

tenderness of love, fragile as the wings of the cicada!

— 83

With

silver tongs

she stirred the ashes in the brazier

and traced these words: "As long Lanterns

hung from each

as the sky ..."

story of the building;

the red railing of the balcony gave

on the

avenue below.

This was the scene of our love that year

now

I

From

see only a tomb,

overgrown with

the roots of the maples,

I

grass.

hear the whispering of

a ghost

bearing the traces of her southern voice.

The stagnant clouds of

this

woman's soul

have been swept into rain over a mountain

I

do not know.

84

A WOMAN'S ROOM Autumn

Autumn

colors trickle through the gauze curtains;

cold fragrance floats

The chirping

The bedroom

in, bit

crickets rise

fireflies flicker

frost

in

in the fills

by

bit.

from the dark

abandoned loom.

with

new

moonlight;

on the bamboo screens she changes to

warmer

clothes.

The migrating goose, the wanderer both are gone, only one will return.

walls;

— 85

PASSING

Out

THROUGH Suchou in the Rain

of a job, with roads to travel, in

could

still

stuck here

Wu

it

be

this

My soul seeks

Tao

Ch'ien

flowers, as

is

if it

a lazy pedant after all?

were

a butterfly,

or follows the waves in dreams, like a pelican.

A lonely lamp,

skinny shadow

—Cold Mountain

Temple;



wild grass, flowing green I've

Hsia-chia Lake.

studied Tao, practiced Zen, and gotten nowhere:

now Tm

like

Yang Chu, who wouldn't

give

anyone

a single hair off his head.

Tao

Ch'ien was the great Chin-dynasty poet

a government

official.

fourth century

B.C.

who

quit his job as

Yang Chu was a philosopher of

the

mid-

whose philosophy was misinterpreted as

hedonism by some and

selfishness

by

others.

^r

^

PROSE BY

YUAN HUNG-TAO

Cheng

Chia-sui: "The

hanging

scroll,

unknown.

ink

and

Western Stream." Dated 1627.

light colors

Detail

from

on paper, 128 x 49.6 cm. Collection

88

LETTER to

Old

Jan!

Li Tzu-jan

Have you written any poems

don't write poems,

how

Human

boring days?

can

we make

feelings

recently?

it

If

we

through these

demand some medium

—only then can we be happy. So some

of expression

people do

it

through chess, some through sex, others

through hobbies, and the wise

people,

men it

still

others through writing.

If

of the past were a cut above ordinary

was simply because they had means

for

expressing their feelings; they weren't willing to go floating aimlessly I

often see people

their feelings. if

through

life.

who

have no way to express

They run around busily

they had lost something. They

for

no reason

no

joy.

And

at all;

all

day long, as

become depressed

they see beautiful sights and

feel

they themselves can't understand why.

— 89

This

is

truly a li\ing hell!

racks, bronze pillars, forests of

All in

Why

mountains of knife blades, or

swords? Oh, what a shame! all,

just charge

come when

nothing in

this

ahead and do

man

is

is

that

hard to do

A day

will inevitably

dug and

the waters flow

it!

with talent

nothing in the world that

you

world

"the ditch will be

through." For a

that

speak of iron torture

like yours, there is

impossible.

will be overly cautious, that

1

only fear

you may be

unwilling to take the risk and plunge ahead. Well, force yourself a

little!

It

would be

a

good idea not

to

prove yourself undeser\ing of a friend's encouragement.

90

NOTE WRITTEN

Chang Yu-Yu's Poem About

After

Hui Mountain Stream

My

friend Ch'iu Chang-ju of Ma-ch'eng traveled east

to the

Wu

area,

and then

traveled

back

to T'uan-feng

with thirty jars of water from Hui Mountain Stream.

Chang-ju went ahead by himself, instructing his

ser-

vants to follow behind with the jars suspended from shoulder-poles.

The

of the water, spilled

annoyed by the weight

servants, all

of

it

into the Yangtze.

When

they reached Tao-kuan River, they refilled the jars

with local mountain stream water.

Chang-ju, knowing nothing of extravagantly about the water

and

this,

boasted

invited a

group of

connoisseurs from the city to taste arrived

on schedule, they

it.

When

they

sat in a circle in Chang-ju's

studio with expressions of pleasant anticipation

on

91

their faces.

A bottle was

lain cups, into

which

brought out. as well as porce-

just a few drops of the water

were poured. These were then passed around comments, and then

every'one's

it

was time

to drink.

The cormoisseurs savored the water s bouquet while,

and only then did they

sound

sip lightly

for

for a

and swallow,

They

producing

a gurgling

looked

each other, sighed out loud, and said:

at

"What superb water! Were exquisite taste,

how

nence of drinking

could it

we

in their throats.

it

not for Chang-ju's

ever have had the expe-

in this lifetime!"

They went on

exclaiming in admiration \\ithout pause and then finally left for

Half a

m

home.

month

the course of

later,

the ser\'ants

which the

facts

had an argument

came

out.

Chang-ju

was outraged and

fired the serx^ants involved.

the connoisseurs

who had drunk

the water,

As

for

when

92

they heard about the matter they simply muttered a

few embarrassed words.

My on

younger brother Hsiao-hsiu recently

a trip to the east

tain stream leng.

went

also

and came back with jars of moun-

water from Hui Mountain and Chung-

He wrote

the

names

of the respective streams

on

red labels to record which jar came from which

When

stream.

he returned

home

journey of

after a

over a month, the writing on the labels had

worn

off. I

asked him: "Which came from Hui Mountain and

which from Chung-leng? He couldn't after

tell.

drinking some water from each

couldn't

tell.

And even

jar,

he

still

We looked at each other and roared with

laughter.

But in actual rior to

fact,

Hui Mountain water

water from Chung-leng,

River! Since

coming

to the

let

is far

supe-

alone Tao-kuan

Wu area myself as a magis-

93

trate.

now

I

able to distinguish

present

poem by

happened

that

I

am

among them. Reading

the

have tasted the waters

many

Yu->Ti reminded

in the past,

times and

me

and before

of these things 1

knew

it. I

was

was

similar to

the "appreciation of pork at Ho-yang" of

which Su

doubled over with laughter! This

Tung-p'o wTOte, so

Yu-yu with

a

have written about

it

to pro\'ide

good laugh.

Chang Yu-yu probably the I

I

affair

refers to

Chang

Hsien-i,

an authority on

Ching (Booh of Changes). Ch'iu Chang-ju was YOan's friend

Ch'iu

Tan and

Chung-tao.

Hsiao-hsiu was YUan's younger brother Yuan

94

DREAMS Sitting at night in Pure friend

Temple,

I

talked with

Fang and our conversation turned

my

to the sub-

ject of strange dreams.

Fang bizarre.

said: "I I

once had a dream that was extremely

came upon

a district office

with a vermilion

gateway and guards holding elaborate halberds, as

were a king's palace. staircase

entered by

I

and noticed

way

if it

of the eastern

that in front of the

main

hall

were two high towers with a ferocious-looking guard standing in each. These two

green eyes

—they were

men had

red hair and

terrifying in appearance.

On

the central dais were standing three giants, several tens of feet

jewels.

tall,

When

1

their bodies covered

with strings of

who

they were, he

asked someone

answered: 'These are the demi-gods.' Next, approached the

dais,

and one of the

I

giants asked: 'Do

95

you wish

man

to obsen^e

your former

in a black robe,

who

life?'

immediately led

the hall to the eastern corridor. There

on

sitting

was haggard and jaundiced, and

face

was one

of depression

"When back

and

main

to the

hall,

me

saw

a

out of

monk

fish gong.

His

his expression

at

him.

1

was led

where the giant again ques-

tioned me: 'Do you wish to obser\T your next Before he

a

dissatisfaction.

had finished looking

I

1

wooden

a reed mat, holding a

me was

Beside

had finished speaking,

a

guard leaped

life?'

down

from one of the towers and brandished the iron cud-

he was holding above his head. Sparks flashed

gel

from all

it

in

all

directions,

disappeared.

Then

and the

the guard led

out of which he dragged a ters,

whose

filthy.

This.

hair I

giants

me

and buildings to a Uttle hole,

man whose neck was

in fet-

was burned, and whose clothes were

realized,

was

myself. xAnd so

ing to imagine what e\11 deeds

1

1

began

had performed

try-

m my

96

present ing,

I

life

such

suffering,

and then, weep-

when my

late

awoke."

Fang

also said: "Once,

still alive, I

holding a in

to merit

dreamed of

tally,

a

demon

orderly

similar to the ones used

our provincial and

my mother's name. nephew on my sister's side was

who was

by attendants

district offices.

inscribed

mother was

On

it

happened

It

also present,

was

that a

and the

two of us wept and pleaded with the demon: 'We desire to reduce our

mother's

life!'

own

allotted years to prolong

The demon pointed

said:

'How could

this?'

Jumping with excitement,

so,

to

a distaff relative I

my nephew

be allowed

exclaimed:

you can subtract ten years from

demon later,

orderly

nodded yes and

left.

my

and

to

'If

life!'

do

that's

The

Exactly ten years

my mother died."

With

this,

I

said to Fang: "Your

physiognomy

not that of a long-lived man, and your

life

is

span has

97

been reduced by ten you have fetters is

For

left?

years.

How many

The time when

you'll

years could

be wearing those

drawing near!"

a

long time after

this,

unhappy.

Fang was Fang Wen-tsun

(d.

1609).

Fang looked quite

98

RECORDING

I

Strange Events

sat at night in

Shuang-ch'ing

Villa, trading recent

ghost stories with T'ao Shih-k'uei.

my

Shih-k'uei said: "Last year

On

sister-in-law died.

the day of her death, one of our maidservants sud-

denly went crazy, saying that she was the wife of

from

N

village, that

she had died of strangulation and

had followed her fellow ghosts food,

and

that as they

were

to this place to

beg

way had been

Now

she was fam-

ished and pleaded for a single grain of

rice.

As she

beseeched us to give her food, her manner was

cooked

rice

in the extreme. After a while,

was brought. The

ground and snapped out of

for

leaving, her

blocked by the masses of ghosts.

and moving

X

it

as

girl fell flat if

pitiful

some

on the

waking from

sleep.

99

When we

questioned her, she could not remember a

thing."

T'ao also said: "In

my home

district, in

of a certain scholar-official, the wife

Suddenly she exclaimed that the

were people

became

X, or the

ill.

young

nephew X had

arrived.

who had been dead

for one,

lady X, or the uncle X, or the All of these

girl

the family

two, or even ten years, and yet one was able to converse with days, the

them

as

woman

to beat her.

if

with li\dng persons. After several

suddenly said that

Immediately, she

fell to

writhing beneath the blows of the of pain could be heard near

body

and

there appeared welts, as

if

Yama had come the ground,

stick.

far,

and

Her screams all

over her

produced by

a stick.

Then she kneeled on

the ground, motioning with her

hands

off the stick

as

if

to

ward

— her ten

fingers

100

turned black and blue and started to drip blood. Next she began turning and twisting on her bed as quick as the wind.

When someone

questioned her, she said:

grinding me!' The manifestations of her suf-

'Yama

is

fering

were a hundred times more horrible than any-

thing in ordinary

life.

After a few

more

days, she

had

recovered enough to claim that she had originally

been an immortal in heaven to this earth.

who had been

She had forgotten her old

behaved enviously and jealously

had been punished while

life

banished

and had

in this one, so she

Now that the punreturn to heaven. When

still alive.

ishment was over, she could

she had finished speaking, she died." T'ao said further: "Recently, one of

grandsons,

who had been

months, was visited night beautiful

married for after night

woman who would

my

cousin's

less

than six

by

a certain

sleep with him.

101

Eventually she became his concubine. Before long, her actions

became extremely

strange,

and she kept

telling

people that in this world there was nothing desirable,

—nothing

other than death

else

could bring her hap-

piness. Several times she attempted to

hang

herself

with her stocking laces or to throw herself into the water.

Her people would stand around her and keep

watch over

her, but

guarding her dozed

one night the person

and the

off,

by jumping down the

toilet.

woman

This

is

who was

killed herself

quite similar to

the affair of Li the Red."

These stories are written

all

worth recording, so

them down here

to

I

have

expand the available

accounts of strange matters.

T'ao Shih-k'uei was

Tao Wang-ling (1562-1609).

Tang-dynasty poet who gave himself

this

Li the Red,

name because

a

he felt

102

his

poems were comparable

to those oj Li

said to have died by falling into a

Po

toilet,

("Li the White"), is

after

which he was

accorded the dubious distinction of being called the

Yama

is

King of Hell

in both Indian

and Chinese

toilet

demon.

tradition.

For a

good summary of modern anthropological interpretations of female possession, see

I.

M.

Lewis, Ecstatic Religion (Harmonds-

worth, 1971).

Shao Mi: "Landscape with Figure,

from an album,

ink

and

Palace Museum, Taipei.

light colors

in the

on

Manner

silk,

of T'ang Yin." Leaf

29.6 x 21.2 cm. National

104

A LITTLE STORY About

Living in the Mountains

A rich man who had suffered tain matter

bowed

came

disappointment in a cer-

Mountain

to live at Ti

to a recluse of that place

poor and

ill

as

you

are, sir, is

and

after the rainclouds

"To be as

said:

as pleasant as

is

and your expression

the springtime,

He

something which any-

one would hate, and yet your manner

moon

for a while.

as clear as the

have disappeared.

How

strange!"

The

recluse said: "There's nothing strange about

Some time ago

I

vomited up blood and could not get

out of bed for an entire year after tors

were unable

die and, in fact, died. There

it!

to help it

I

I

The best doc-

was sure

was rumored

was nothing

people speaking of

me.

that.

that

1

that

had already

could do about

my own

would

I

death and, to



heard

it

I

my

amaze-

105

ment, sent

got better!

I

my

this point of \iew,

unexpected, and whatever comes to

life is

must be counted

this life

human

ple

From

nature that

as

unexpected

when one

pected gain, one cannot

feel

gain.

pre-

me

It is

in

sim-

experiences unex-

unhappy even

if

one

tries."

The

rich

man

said:

What could

the mountains. that

you would count

This

is

1

stranger

as gain

and

my

me

ness!

My arms could hardly move,

up, and

now

this is

could not support lean as

I

feel

to

you

happy about?

nothing strange about

hold



happen

possibly

that in the recent past

dle a boat

obscurity here in

live in

still!"

said: "There's

mind

"You

please



I

two

can walk about

happiness!

my weight,



keep in

wouldn't

this is 1

happi-

can pad-

waist and back

now

this is happiness!

1

feet

and now

My

and

it!

I

can bend or

Nor was

I

ever

106

comfortable

when

lying

down, and now

soundly with peaceful snores

you consider most people's be happiness, then

my



this is

desires

happiness! So,

and

walking, standing,

if

satisfactions to

unhappiness would be ten

thousand times greater than yours. But

my

sleep

I

sitting,

if

you consider

and lying down

to

be

happiness, then you ought to be ten thousand times

happier than me! What's so strange about that!"

The

rich

man

on the brink of death.

It is

and

for this reason that

you

developed your pleasant views. As never been I

ill

for

me,

I

have

and never on the brink of death.

said: "Since

view of a

you were

ill

said: "Nevertheless,

1

man on

am

able to maintain the point of

the brink of death, even

am actually not on the

brink of death,

why

though

I

should you

not be able to cultivate the point of view of a seriously ill

man

even though you are not

ill?"

107

With

this,

the rich

man

what

finally realized

1

was

saying and, relaxing his expression and laughing out

You

loud, he said: "Amazing! to

make me happy I

said:

day,

We

Amazing!"

too!

nothing amazing about

s

was walking below the

1

saw

fully.

'There

a

happy and

are able to be

city wall

it.

The other

with a friend.

beggar coming toward us, pleading mourn-

This beggar had a small head and face, delicate

skin, a refined voice,

each step was

woman

and was walking slowly,

difficult.

beggar, so

The beggar smiled

I

assumed

1

asked: "Do

faintly.

I

that this

you have

as

if

was

a

a husband?'

thought that perhaps the

beggar did not understand the word 'husband,' so asked:

Do you

once again, as friend: "Can

it

I

have an old man?' The beggar smiled if

slightly embarrassed.

be that

when romantic

I

said to

my

matters are

brought up, even a beggar w4ll be pleased?' At which

108

My

the beggar said with a smile: 'I'm a man!'

and

I

realized that

we laughed out I

said:

people

we had been wrong

loud,

give

you

and some who even cases

do you

give

forget that

—you

beggar a rich

feel that

you

you

same

man, the same



give

moment

you were

as a

as

ago

there are

you

you

when you

When

you no longer are

anyone

1

rice,

of these

a beggar?

else,

nobleman with

thousand households! Have

too."

are a beggar, so

are a beggar,

are the

away

you money. In none

never laugh. Now, just a

you

far

some who

gruel,

forget that

laughed, did you

along, so

and the beggar laughed

"You have come from

who

all

friend

the

same

a

as

a fief of ten

not given you some-

thing wonderful?'

"The beggar agreed, thanked

me

with a smile, and

left.

"Now,

if I

can make a beggar happy, shouldn't

I

be

109

able to

make

man

a rich

happy? There's

like yourself

nothing amazing here!"

Such was the profundity of our conversation the rich

man

that

forgot to leave. Mist encircled the dark-

ening mountains; a temple bell sounded from the distant trees.

I

had already

lent the

sleeping platform;

now

had been

as well.

sitting

on

He laughed and people

who weep

over their heads.

I

tossed

said: "I

at

man him

the use of

the thick

How

could they ever get to stay in a

he

asleep.

the speaker switches to the first person,

that the recluse

is

Yuan

I

night because they have no roofs

house, with such a fine mat to sleep on?"

When

mat

have heard that there are

warm fell

my

himself.

it

Then

becomes clear

no

MOUNT YANG Mount Yang tains

surges above

and connects with

the surrounding

a range

distance of several tens of tion of

all

li.

moun-

which extends over

It falls

under the jurisdic-

two subprefectures. Beneath the mountain

the Shrine of the

a

White Dragon. According

is

to the old

people of the area, during the Eastern Chin dynasty

(317-419), an elderly

man

wearing a white robe once

stayed overnight at the house of a the next day.

nant and

The woman

later

with horns on sky and the

commoner and

of the house

left

became preg-

gave birth to a white dragon, complete its

head. The dragon rose

woman was

up

into the

frightened to death.

Now, beneath he mountain,

there

is

the

Tomb

the Dragon's Mother, with a cypress tree in front of that

is

some twenty spans

of it

in circumference. Several

Ill

years ago, a white dragon of

branches

its

ents.

like a bolt of silk,

and looking around

forth

Whenever

pray for

rain,

the magic

was seen hanging from one

there

is

as

if

swaying back and

trying to find

a drought

its

par-

and the people here

they are sure to be answered. Because of

power

of the spot,

it

has been recorded in

the official annals of ritual.

This year, in the sixth month, the drought acted

up

again,

and Chiang Chin-chih and

nied the prefect

when he prayed

started, intense sunlight

was

1

demon

accompa-

at the shrine.

glittering in the

As he

pool and

not a sliver of cloud was to be seen anywhere in the sky. Chin-chih as

and

1

climbed

to the

we reached Arrow Tower, on

all

summit, and just four sides clouds

and fog arose from the mountains, forming

a vast,

gray mass in which one could not distinguish anything.

Then, in the time

it

takes to inhale

and exhale,

112

rain

poured down in

torrents, filling the rice paddies

with water. Chin-chih and terror

and

Is it

left

as quickly as

I

looked

we

at

each other in

could.

possible that dragons really are divine crea-

tures?

Mount Yang

is

located northwest of Wu-hsien, near Great Lake

(T'ai-hu) in Chiangsu Province. See Yixan's

poem on Mount

Yang, translated on page 69.

THE CAVE

of the Jade City

The Jade City Waterfalls. interior

is

over twenty

The entrance

is at first

like a

to the cave

its

from the Five is

broad and the

huge mansion. After one has

gone in a way, the path narrows to

li

slightly,

then returns

former breadth. Within the cave, rocks in the

113

shapes of lotus flowers or

human

figures are

ous. There are three or four turnings, that

and then

a hole

so narrow that one can only get through by

is

crawling. flat

numer-

The two T'ao brothers and

I

went through

on our belhes, lighting our way with torches.

Smoke

filled

like rain.

the available space, so that our tears

Then

I

remembered hearing an old

fell

story

about people suffocating because of torch smoke in caves;

I

became frightened and

the T'aos.

of

Wu

lives.

Only

Wang

retreated, along

with

Ching-hsii and an office clerk

Subprefecture went ahead at the risk of their

They crossed four or

five ridges,

coming

to the

innermost depths of the cave, found their way blocked by turned back.

a

subterranean stream, and only then

114

SOLITARY MOUNTAIN

The

recluse of Solitary

his wife

highest

and cranes

man

myself and

my

tired of

We

friends, precisely

it's

like

tree as

was the

because all

kinds of

we

are

wearing a coat with

padding and walking through a

and

as

we have

cannot get rid of them, and yet



of brambles

plum

Such people

ourselves in for

let

being v^th them

tattered cotton

"a

as his children." This

of leisure in the world!

wives and children, problems.

Mountain had

stickers that tug at

field

your clothes with

each step! Recently, a

man named

residence under wife.

Perhaps he

Solitary

Yii

Seng-ju has taken

up

Thunder Peak, and he too has no is

Mountain!

on plum blossoms

a reincarnation of the recluse of

He

has written a group of poems

falling in the creek,

and while

1

do

115

not

know how

they might be

felt

compare with

to

the

poetry of the recluse, he did turn out 150 of them in

one night, which can certainly be called writing quickly!

As

for his practice of fasting

meditation, this actually puts

him

and doing Zen

a cut

above the

recluse. Is

there ever an age without remarkable

men?

"The recluse of Solitary Mountain" was Lin Pu (967-1028), a

major poet of the early Sung dynasty.

WEST LAKE and Shan-yin ...

I

once expressed the thought that West Lake

like a painting

and the scenery

is

by one of the Sung-dynasty masters, at

Shan-yin

is like

a painting

by one

of the Yuan-dynasty masters. Flowers, birds,

and

116

human

figures, all visible in every detail, rich

and

sparse areas, distant and near scenes, every color exquisitely hne: such

is

the scenery of

West Lake.

People without discernible features, trees without discernible branches, mountains without discernible vegetation,

water without discernible ripples, everything

abbreviated or suggested, the sense of distance arising

from the forms: such the question of

is

the scenery of Shan-yin.

which of the two

is

superior,

As

1

to

leave

that to people possessed of a perceptive eye.

Shan-yin became famous in the Six Dynasties period,

and became

less

popular starting with the T'ang.

West Lake became known

in the T'ang

and

is at its

peak of popularity now. Perhaps scenic spots undergo the vicissitudes of Chang Hung: "Landscape album of landscapes silk,

in the

also

fate!

Manner

of Hsia Kuei." Leaf from an

after old masters, dated 1636, ink

31.6 X 19.7 cm. Ching YUan Chai

Collection.

and

colors

on

118

A RECORD OF LISTENING

to the

Rock

of Echoing

Waters

The rock listen to

is it

halfway up Heaven's Eye Mountain. quietly, the

sound of flowing water can be

heard from within, resonant and

clear. Its

Rock

of Echoing Waters. This rock

high,

and twice

ful in its

you

If

this in breadth.

is

It is

name

is

the

over twenty feet strangely beauti-

outer form and powerfully structured

beneath the surface. Let this ser\^e to

remedy the omission of

from rock catalogues of the

Heaven's Eye Mountain Province.

is

this

rock

past.

located east of Tai-hsien in Chiangsu

119

EVEN-WITH-THE-CLOUDS

The Heavenly Gate of with-the-Clouds the area tions

Anhui

is

below the

mountain

the

a beautiful spot, but unfortunately

cluttered

cliff is

and epigraphs.

How

And

the officials

up with

who

inscrip-

The people of

irritating!

just love to WTite graffiti; this

of theirs.

called Even-

is

a shortcoming

have held

office there

have been influenced by local custom. Even the small rocks are

all

covered with vermilion characters or

plain engraved words. Its

enough

to

make one gasp

with anger! I

have noted that the law pro\ides for standard

punishments dig

illegal

officials

for those

mine

shafts.

who

plunder the mountains or

Why

is it

that \iilgar scholar-

can desecrate the Mountain Spirit with

impunity? Buddhism says that

all e\il

action will lead

120

to appropriate retribution.

are in a class with

The

on the

What

1

am

describing

murder and robbery, and

Buddhism makes no mention sight

acts

of them. This

is

yet

an over-

part of the canon.

crimes have the green mountains and white

rocks ever committed, that their faces should be

branded and

their skin cut?

The rocks

at the

Oh, how inhumane!

Peaks of the Five Elders are

all

beautiful but slightly lacking in rich luster. Also, the

mountain forms themselves

are not that spectacular,

so visitors need not stay too long.

would reduce cials

the

number

would come here

inscriptions

If

the Taoist shrines

of their rooms, then offi-

less frequently. Eventually, the

would become

effaced, lichens

would

cover the rocks, and, unless the god of this mountain is

totally lacking in spiritual efficacy, in less

than one

121

hundred or so return to

My

its

years, Even-with-the-Clouds should

pristine beauty.

fellow travelers were

Mei Chi-pao, T ao Chou-

wang, Pan Ching-shen, Fang Tzu-kung, the hui,

and the two gentlemen Chang and

for five nights,

For

Li.

monk

We

Pl-

stayed

then continued traveling.

the phrase "rocks at the Peaks of the Five Elders

.

.

.

,"

an

alternative version oj the text has been partiaUy Jollowed.

A RECORD OF STAYING OVERNIGHT

at the

Terrace of Falling Stones

After

coming dowTi from Even-with-the-Clouds. we

took

a raft

downstream

to the Terrace of Falling

122

Stones. Here, stones have fallen along the

stream, creating a

cliff

friendly,

the

on top of which one could

monks

spread out a mat. The

bank of

living

and when they heard

that

on shore were not

some

travelers

had

arrived, they closed the doors to their chambers.

The building

closest to the

very picturesque, so

barge

in!

Who

1

needs

Shih-k'uei in with me, ly.

The sunlight

nearby mountain was

said to Shih-k'uei: "Let's just to ask the

monks?'

dragged

and the others followed timid-

glittering

on

the stream

green colors of the mountain seemed to tables

I

and the bluereflect' off

the

and benches.

Two

youths then appeared and bowed to

had expressions of Shih-k'uei,

serenity

one of our group

ble T'ao of K'uai-chi."

jumped

to attention,

on

us.

They

their faces. Indicating

said: "This is the

venera-

The youths immediately

bowed, and went

to set out

some

123

wine

for

us in the pa\ilion.

We

discussed the

life

of an

examination candidate with them until midnight. The

sound of wind

the stream penetrated the night like the

in ten

thousand pines.

The next morning, and plaque

inscriptions.

Sound." Shih-k'uei

Rain."

We

1

named

1

named

poems

the pavilion "Stream

said: "This is the rain

Heaven's Eye!" So

at

the youths asked us for

I

dreamed of

the studio "Dreaming of

each wrote two poems for the occasion and

gave them to the youths.

A RECORD OF A TRIP

It

was

third su,

to

Ch'ung-kuo Temple

the year chi-hai [1599], the third day of the

month.

It

had been decided

that Po-hsiu,

Chao-

Sheng-po, and myself would celebrate the custom-

124

ary day of purification beside the river

west gate of the up,

we took

As

city,

but because a sandstorm started

Ch'ung-kuo Temple.

shelter in

happened,

it

Wang

my

Chang-fu and

brother were having a Uterary gathering place, so

we

all

beyond the

got drunk together and

younger

at this

had smiles on

our faces the whole day. Everyone agreed that

was our

first real

very

this

intoxication since the beginning of

spring.

One

of the temple

monks then

led us to see the

image of Tutor Yao. Yao was dignified and imposing,

and

his eyes

seemed

to flash

hke lightning. The

inscription consisted of the words: that of a

"My

true nature

monk," written out by the Tutor

in his

is

own

calligraphy.

Next,

here

we

visited the hostel for foreign

we saw images

of Manjushri

monks, and

and other

figures.

125

One had

a blue face

and the head of

and dwarfish, wore human heads had SLxteen

many

a boar;

all

over

legs arranged in parallel fashion,

it

was

its

fat

body,

and held

kinds of weapons. This image was extremely

ferocious in appearance.

The monk explained

that

it

had been presented by the Tibetans, who brought

many images

of this kind,

the customs of Tibet it

and he

and how

far

also told us

away

it

about

was. in sum,

can be said that the pro\dnces of Tibet consider even

the lowest grade of Chinese tea to be a national trea-

sure

and use

silver,

it

as a

medium

Gold and

strangely enough, are not in circulation.

countr)'

is

without

ever)' several tens of U,

it

is

a

The eat

a local overlord for

is

something

system of China. But

ished country.

and the people

rice paddies,

only wheat and pulse. There

tive

of exchange.

like the administra-

backward, impover-

126

At

this point, Po-hsiu

and Chao-su

left

because

they had official duties to attend to the following

morning, The

rest of

us talked about the

New

of Changes] until midnight.

kept coming up as

we

talked,

leave but, as our servants

time in the cold night,

and we did not want

had been waiting

we had no

at the age oj fourteen, hut

appointed Tutor

to the

most

a

to

long

choice but to go.

who became a

resumed a lay name when

Heir Apparent.

painter, as well as one of the

Ching [Book

points of discussion

Tutor Yao was Yao Kuang-hsiao (1335-1418),

monk

J

He was a

poet and a

influential political advisors of

his day.

FROM On

.??

"FIELDS

OF

INK: Miscellaneous Notes"

a certain day,

I

went

to the Office of Tribute

127

Inspections, tribute he vessels,

where

I

met an envoy from Annam. The

had brought consisted of gold and

sih'er

which were embellished with rather unskilled

designs. Aside

from

this,

he had only brought a

little

sandalwood, laka-wood, and ivory. I

asked

this

envoy whether he could do

phy, and he said:

"I

can." So

I

gave

him

he wrote out a quatrain in cursive script

The path meanders over the stream the clouds veil

calligra-

a brush,

and

[ts'ao-shu]:

a stone bridge,

bends nine times; an embankment of bamboo

groves

with three

The

little

houses.

gates are half closed,

wildflowers are

one cry from

a bird

falling;



a

calm day in spring.

128

His cursive was virtually impossible to read, so

asked him character,

to write the

1

standard forms beside each

and these were no

different

from the ones

used here in China.

The Annamese (Vietnamese),

like the

Koreans and Japanese,

wrote much of their poetry in Chinese, partly because they

admired Chinese culture and wished because

this ability

mats and

emulate

it,

and partly

proved useful in dealing with Chinese diplo-

officials.

A BIOGRAPHY of the The Old Drunkard from.

to

Nor has he

always drunk,

I

Old Drunkard

—no one knows where he comes told

call

him

anyone the

his

name. Since

he's

Old Drunkard. Each year

129

He wears

he travels between north and south China.

a

seven-brim hat and embroidered robes; he has high

cheekbones and

a



down

to his belly

a ferocious general.

broad jawbone. His beard hangs to

look

He

is

at

him. you'd think he was

perhaps

fifty

years old or so,

but has no companions or followers. In his hand he carries a yellow

bamboo

basket.

He spends

the entire

day dead drunk and seems asleep even in broad daylight.

The stench of his booz>^ breath can be smelled

hundred paces away. He walks wine and,

the streets looking for

in a short while, he has

wine shops!



yet he

a

drunk

at

over ten

seems no drunker than before.

The Old Drunkard does not

eat a

gram

diet;

he eats

only centipedes, spiders, toads, and any sort of insect.

The children

in towTi are terrified of

whatever vermin they can find and to eat.

him



^they

offer these to

grab

him

Wherever he walks, over one hundred people

130

can always be seen

anyone

which

insults

him, he

inevitably touch

who

person,

rattles off a

upon an

then runs away in

In his basket, the

it's

fright.

still

carries sev-

asked why, he

says:

you

can't

get wine, but

any of these."

get

When the to

few words, some of

Old Drunkard always

you can

cold,

staring. If

intimate secret of the

eral tens of dried centipedes. If

"When

him and

trailing after

Po-hsiu told

me

about

this

man,

whole thing was an exaggeration, so

my house

for a drink.

I

I

thought

invited

him

The boy servant found more

than ten verminous insects and offered them to him.

He swallowed would dip vinegar,

all

in his

of

them

alive!

wine cup,

as

Each

little

bug he

one dips chicken in

and then he would wash them down with

wine. As for the centipedes, which were five or six inches long, he

would pick up each one with cedar

131

needles,

remove

alive, in his

their pincers, then place

mouth. The red

legs

them,

still

could be seen mov-

ing frantically between his whiskered Ups;

all

of us got

goose flesh just watching! But the Old Drunkard was ob\iously enjoying himself, chewing away with relish, as

if

pig.

he were dining upon essence of bear or suckling

When

favorite,

he was asked which delicacies were his

he repUed: "Scorpions

taste

wonderful, but

down

unfortunately you cant get them

south.

Centipedes are second best, and of the spiders. fer small ones.

But you shouldn't eat too

because

make you

they'll

depressed."

what beneht he derived from ''None!

I

do

it

many

Then

preants,

asked

I

and he

said:

just for fun!"

After this, the close.

his diet,

1

Old Drunkard and

I

became quite

Whenever he came, he would crouch down on

the stairs, call for wine,

and drink away.

If

anyone

132

treated ately

show

many said

him

like

an honored guest, he would immedi-

his displeasure.

He

on and on about

talked

strange subjects. Every so often, something he

would be

truly mysterious, but he

answer any inquiries about

1

repeatedly ques-

if I

would purposely change

tioned him, he

One day

and

it,

went out with

my

uncles,

speaking about the beautiful sights

would not

at

the subject.

and we were

Gold Mountain

and Mount Chiao, when we met the old drunkard along the road. certain year

My

second uncle mentioned that in a

he had climbed Gold Mountain. The Old

Drunkard smiled and

said:

tary advisor so-and-so

was

and-so also went along?" but

when

come

to

"Could host,

My

it

be that the mili-

and the secretary

so-

uncle was astonished,

the

Old Drunkard was asked how he had

know

these things, he did not answer. At a

later time,

someone managed

to take a

quick look into

133

his basket cial

and saw something

appointment

in

Drunkard had been area,

which seemed

it.

a

to

like a certificate of offi-

He claimed

well-endowed

make

fixed

Old

official in the

sense.

The Old Drunkard's behavior was had no

that the

truly bizarre.

home. At night he would

stay at

shrine of beneath the eaves of the city gates.

He

an old

He was

constantly repeating the words: "All dharmas return to the

One

—where does the One return?" whether

mo\4ng about,

staying in one place, sitting, sleeping,

or conversing.

If

anyone asked him why, he would

not answer.

Once when saw him again he

is

I

at

was on

my way

Sha-shih, but

I

to

an

official post,

I

do not know where

now.

Shih-kung

says:

1

often see strange people in the

134

cities

And

and

regret that

I

know

nothing about their

regret that of the strange people holed

I

the forests

up

in

and mountains, probably only one out of

ten appears in the

recorded in the

cities!

official

surely they represent

who do

lives.

As

for the strange

people

records and unofficial books,

no more than one tenth of those

appear in the

cities.

Since these are people

with no ambition to become known, and since they associate only with butchers,

wine merchants, shop

owners, wandering monks, and beggars,

worthy

scholar-officials

and hand down of a

and

even get to

know about them

their stories? In the past,

woman known

as the

a Taoist of the Single

how many

I

have heard

Cap-wearing Immortal,

Gourd, both

chou. Recently, several people in the

living in

Feng-

Wu-han

area

have been acting quite strange, and one of them seems

to

know

a thing or

two about the Tao. Yes,

it

135

appears that this

is

what

"Though he possesses

is

the

meant by

the old sa\-ing:

powers of

a

dragon, he

remains hidden."

Shih-kung was one of YOan's names. is

"Vwugh

he possesses ..."

a quotation from the "^en-yen," one of the appendices

Ching. This passage occurs in the Oie first hexagram, ch'ien.

commentary

to the I

to the first line

of

136

wHfCl^H^f hill, Inc.,

Pacific.

Editions are a production of Weather-

publishers of fine books on Asia and the

Supervising editor: Margaret E. Taylor.

Book

design and typography: Liz Trovato. Production supervision: Bill Rose. Text composition:

Hoboken, Inc.,

New Jersey.

Printing

G

& H Soho, Inc.,

and binding: Daamen,

West Rutland, Vermont. The typeface used

Berkely Old Style.

is

j^smmmammmm Yuan Hung-tao (1568-1610) was

the greatest poet of

Ming-

dynasty China. In an age that

looked to the masters of past dynasties for inspiration, Yiian

beUeved that ciety

to

ways of

so-

undergo change, hterature

must follow

Ming

"as the

suit."

poets, Yiian

look

Unlike other

was not

critically at the

afraid

world

around him, and thus

offers us a

Ming

society as

rare portrait of

well as poetry

and prose of

sur-

passing beauty and freshness.

ISBN 0-83A8-0257-0

90000

>

78083A"802575

I