and one more from Han Shan

Living in the mountains, mind ill at ease,
All I do is grieve at the passing years.
At great labor I gathered the herbs of long life,
But has all my striving made me an immortal?
Broad is my garden and wrapped now in clouds,
But the woods are bright and the moon is full.
What am I doing here? Why don’t I go home?
I am bound by the spell of the cinnamon trees!

translated by Burton Watson

9 thoughts on “and one more from Han Shan

  1. Having a great time admiring these translations by Watson, and then hunting down the equivalent translations by Seaton and others. Can’t find this one in Seaton, yet. Do you know of other translations of this same poem?

    • Sorry, Jeff, but my Gary Snyder here for some reason. He must be back in some box in NY. I’ll look through my Arthur Waley to see lf I can find it there later and let you know. Right now I’m enjoying going on up to Cold Mountain with Burton Watson again.

  2. Sorry, Jeff, but I cannot find another translation of that poem. I wish I had my Gary Snyder here but he seems to be resting with other Beat poets in some box back in NY. Maybe when I move back to Istanbul and finally ship my books here when I buy a place he, among many others, will once again breathe open air on a bookshelf. You know I’m thinking of going into partnership here with a bookstore owner in 2016 and make more American, and British, too, of course, writers available here in English. Finally become what I once was long ago.

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