Monday, April 13, 2020

Don't read books! Yang Wanli (1127—1206)

Yang Wanli (1127—1206). Yang led the life of a Chinese scholar official in troubled times. One of the “Four Masters” of the southern Song, he was a highly productive poet and had a lifelong interest in Chan, which grew stronger in old age.
Throughout his life Yang compared artistic enlightenment — we would say genius — to the enlightenment of Chan, and saw the two processes in the same light. “Get rid of words and meaning,” he once wrote, “and there is still poetry.
In 1178 he claimed he experienced a sudden enlightenment, and went on to write what most people think is his best work.
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Source: Zen Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series)

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