the hermitage of the bamboos

In solitude
sitting in the hidden forest
of the bamboos,
To the sound of the lute
I whistle suspended notes.
In the secrecy of the wood
I see no one:
The bright moon reaches me
with its light.

I come and go
in the hut
isolated among the bamboos,
Every day
more familiar with the Tao.
I go and come back:
there are none here
but the birds of the mountain.
Where solitude is deepest,
the people of the world

Wang Wei
P’ei Ti


There’s no moon—
last night, I came here
driving a horse.


perfect beauty and happiness

Quietly, the water flows in its vastness.
Drifting, my cypress boat now floats, now loafs.
The faint sound of my whistling is carried away by the clean breeze;
I bend to the oars, and the boat rocks.
Putting down the oars and picking up the fishing rod —
I’d end my year in carefree wandering.

Ji Kang


Having exterminated cleverness and discarded learning,
my mind wanders in the deep and the tranquil:
Not regretting if I committed an error,
nor making a show when meeting with success.
Fishing in a deep valley,
I enjoy my own world.
With my hair down, I stroll and sing,
and harmonious air suffuses all around me.
O! Sing and celebrate —
my mind wanders in the deep and tranquil.

Ji Kang


In the front of the garden
it has whitely blossomed —
the camellia.

Uejima Onitsura

the companion of the moon

Morning and night, a ten-square-foot cottage
filled with peace,
Cherry blossoms by the window, pear flowers in the yard,
fragrance as companion.
Even a gold house cannot match the value
of a scholar’s desk,
A thousand sages and ten-thousand worthies
want you everyday.


The way

When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty,
There arises the recognition of ugliness.
When they all know the good as good,
There arises the recognition of evil.

Lao Zi