For so long here without worldly attachments,
I have renounced literature and writing;
I may be a monk in a mountain temple,
Yet still moved in seeing gorgeous blossoms
Scattered by the spring breeze,
And hearing the warbler’s lovely song—
Let others judge my meager efforts.
This kanshi, one of a series of fifteen verses on Dōgen’s Echizen “mountain retreat,” expresses his creative ambivalence toward the tension between spiritual discipline and aesthetic feeling.
Text from The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace, by Steve Heine
Image: Flower by srtighe, CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay.com