I have been thinking of a cut – up piece for a while now. But whenever I have tried to create a cut – up whatever I was writing was always written with the intention of being cut up, and therefore was not a natural piece of writing. Which is why I had the idea of doing a cut – up of previous work.
Which has led to this. A cut – up of 5 different poems by 5 different Chinese poets. Some poems were chosen to structure, some for themes, some for their content and some because I simply enjoyed reading them. The poems and poets used in this piece are Written on the Wall at Master Wei Feng’s by Pao Hsien, Mourning Yin Yao by Wang Wei, At the Hua – Shan hermitage of adept Ma Tai by Chia Tao, Returning Home to Deer – Gate Mountain at night by Meng Hao-Jan (Ran) and Reading Ch’an Sutras by Po Chu-I.
After the poems were selected I wrote out each poem and then cut each poem up into individual lines. I then placed the cut – up lines into a hat and then I took the lines out of the hat, letting them flutter down to the surface. Where ever the line landed is where it was placed in the cut – up. With that process now complete, here is the cut up of 5 Chinese Poets and their poems:
and how can you catch a meal of fish in some lakewater mirage?
The grassy path
In all the difference appearance reveals, there’s no difference,
sweeps past the base of Mount Hua
Exploring the silence gives poetic
Arriving in autumn
where no people do.
“washing her hair in a basin”,
the autumn moon:
confers a silk look.
Forget words in the midst of dream, and you see through it all.
Returning you to Stone – Tower Mountain, we bid farewell
Cliffs the gate, pines the path – it’s forever still and silent,
Root out dream in the midst of dream, and you double absence.
just this one recluse, this mystery coming and going of itself.
and even dwelling beyond any trace of residue is itself residue.
On freezing nights
silent talk beyond
As day fades into dusk, the bell at a mountain temple sounds.
Here, small birds break off;
until suddenly I’ve entered old Master P’ang’s isolate realm.
Eases my heart
Fish-Bridge Island is loud with people clamoring at the ferry,
You arrange to meet me often:
old pines and a gate.
leads to deep cloister.
fewer: streams cascading empty towards human realms.
Of your bones now buried white cloud, this much remains
No one I’ve known long.
among ash-green pine and cypress, then return home.
the woods conceal tigers;
Outside the gate, another mountain.
and others follow sandy shores towards their river village
the Yellow River
But how can you harvest fruit from the blossom of emptiness.
To still relentless change is Ch’an and Ch’an is change itself.
from Lotus Peak’s summit;
is solitary, high,
But returning home to Deer-Gate, I paddle my own little boat.
No Ch’an and no change – there lies what seems in what seems.
Thought birth. Fasting
Deer-Gates incandescent moonlight opening misty forests,
It is obviously not as good at the original poems but I do like some of the new juxtapositions. As always feedback is welcomed.
And here are the poems in there original forms: http://skyraftwanderer.blogspot.com/2011/02/chinese-poetry.html
Books used: Pao Hsien: And the Clouds Should Know Me By Now, poem translated by Paul Hansen.
Chia Tao: When I Find You Again It Will Be In Mountains, poem translated by Mike O’Connor.
Wang Wei: The Selected Poems of Wang Wei, poem translated by David Hinton.
Meng Hao-Jan (Ran): The Mountain Poems of Meng Hao-Jan, poem translated by David Hinton.
Po Chu-I: The Selected Poems of Po Chu-I, poem translated by David Hinton.