Art and Aesthetics

Song of the Inner Palace

The Qing dynasty scholar Wang Guowei wrote of poems falling into two categories: close by or remaining at a distance. The Chinese character he uses for distance is ge(隔), whose ancient pictogram consists of three mounds, and a three legged urn. Shangyin’s poems often evoke a distance between the reader and the word, by referring…… Continue reading Song of the Inner Palace

Art and Aesthetics

Thirty Rhymes Delivered To Tai Yuanlu and Si Kong

I once dreamed Li Shangyin[1] was banished from court for speaking his mind.  He fell into a deep depression. On a dark day, he went to an oracle and asked the soothsayer to examine the turtle bones and divine his future path. The oracle looked at Shangyin and said: “My son, what is it you…… Continue reading Thirty Rhymes Delivered To Tai Yuanlu and Si Kong

Art and Aesthetics

Mr. Xie Fang Memorized and Recited My Poems

Mister Xie Fang Memorized and Recited My Poems , On a Random Day I Sent Him This Epistle After Shangyin read one of his poems to me, he calmly rested his chin on his hands and said,  “We have Beowulf, The Bhagavad-Gita, , the Bayajidda, the Sorrow at Parting of Chu Yuan, but there is…… Continue reading Mr. Xie Fang Memorized and Recited My Poems

Art and Aesthetics · nature

Spearing the Fish

Africa is a place of sublime contrasts and savage indifference. To view for the first time a lion hunt and kill, muscles rippling in the sun, to see it pick up the body of an oryx with just its teeth – and all beneath  the  great  blue bowl of a sky that  seems to stretch …… Continue reading Spearing the Fish

Art and Aesthetics · relationships · romance

Roaming

In the beginning[1], there was no heaven and earth. Instead, a vast silence stretched into the darkness. Out of the great distances, the Creator Pangu was borne on the wings of a beam of light. Had she held a mirror up to her face she would have seen more emptiness, for she was travelling slightly…… Continue reading Roaming

Art and Aesthetics

Uplifting Thoughts on a Spring Night

In all the world, there is no sky more beautiful than the African sky. During the day, it is a vast concave bowl flecked with gold and snow, so vast and encompassing one may be forgiven for having a feeling of vertigo. It is even more marvellous at night because all the most interesting things…… Continue reading Uplifting Thoughts on a Spring Night

Art and Aesthetics · Death · Religion

A Poem On The Huizhong Peony Battered By The Rain

“When I wrote the Berceuse”, Chopin told me, “ I was dreaming of many things. I had just read a book from the East called the Gita. It is a religious tract that talks about life being an illusion, and how shadows are real, and how we are the reflections of what lies in the…… Continue reading A Poem On The Huizhong Peony Battered By The Rain