DU FU - The Temple

Du Fu is most likely living at a Buddhist Temple, not as a devotee, but as a poet who must work for his support.  This poem is written while he was in exile in the northwest provinces.  He captures the subtle essence of life at the monastary and the mystery of night.  Of course, he would rather be writing poetry than having to work in the dusty vegetable fields.

dufudrinking

     

    A lamp flickers with my sleeplessness.

    Delicate scents of burning incense

    Clear my senses. In the deep night

    Thre great room is mystical.  Bells

    Tinkling in farthest corners tell me of wind.

     

    Floating up from within the enclosed

    Darkness of temple gardens come

    Fragrances of spring flowers.

    A few last stars in the Milky Way

    Are sinking below my window.

     

    Buddhist chants will soon resound

    Through the cloisters.  Better to stay

    Late in bed and rise after the final bells

    Than be up early trampling plowed fields

    With sands and dust whirling around me.

 

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