Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Transparent Poems 2

Stanley Kunitz is a poet I don’t know well, but recently I dreamed of finding a lost poem by him. Then I wrote about transparent poetry that allows the world to be visible through it, and a friend sent me this:

I never tire of birdsong and sky and weather. I want to write poems that
are natural, luminous, deep, spare. I dream of an art so transparent that
you can look through and see the world.
Stanley Kunitz
Paris Review Interview The Art of Poetry 29

I like the rhymes in the universe.

Thanks to Allison Atwill


Barry said...

Roshi, thank you for making the great effort to create Zenosaurus and share it with us.

I've linked to Zenosaurus from Ox Herding and my other blogs, and look forward to reading it regularly.

Best wishes in the Dharma,

Al said...


I just a blog that aggregates other blogs from the Zen community onto a site. I want your permission to add your blog to the site. Your posts would show up there but all traffic would link back to this blog and comments could only be posted here (not there). Check it out at and let me know if you would be willing to be added.

Thank you.

Al Billings

jennifergentle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Tarrant said...

Hi Al,
it's fine for anyone to link to me. I'll take a look at your work

Warren Falcon said...

Hi John,

Glad I found your website and blog...I've quoted you often to my clients and students from the only published poetry I can find of yours, those marvelous poems in "Beneath A Single Moon"...these lines in particular:

...he does not shut out any part of himself. (from Spell To Be Recited For Banishing Loneliness)


There is a blessed fidelity in things.
Graceless things grow lovely with good uses. (from Restoration of the World).

These lines (and poems) have been orienting for me and my clients re: shadow work where those graceless things do indeed grow lovely and if not lovely importantly create the dynamic tension from which art, awareness, and that "gentleness of hands" you speak of which can hold even the most graceless of things.

A friend just sent me this poem from an old Chan poet which made me immediately think of the opening lines of the "Restoration" poem above. I now will use your lines and this just arrived in my inbox poem together, graceless things and useless things hovering, hinting, even haunting consciousness for some breaking down, out, thru, into, over and around tenses and tensions. And with your lines re: graceless things I want to arrogantly argue with the poet Wumen below about useless things hanging in the mind...

I greatly appreciate your poetry and if you've a book of poetry published then please post that on your website/blogspot so that I and others may partake.

Looking forward to more poetry and blog entries,

Warren Falcon

And here's the Chan poet--
a long ago verse from a Chinese Ch'an master (Wumen, 13th century):
Hundreds of flowers in the Spring
the moon in Autumn
and snow in Winter -
If useless things do not hang in your mind
Every season is a good season for you.

Warren Falcon said...

Ah. Left out a line in the Wu Men poem in my previous comment:

"Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life."

Perhaps cool summer breezes are useless things to me, yes?

And if you've a published book of poetry please post info on website/blogspot so I can purchase a copy.