Winner of the 2015 Washington State Book Award in Poetry Translation
“The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse [is] a tough-spirited book of enlightened free verse.”—Kyoto Journal
The Zen master and mountain hermit Stonehouse—considered one of the greatest Chinese Buddhist poets—used poetry as his medium of instruction. Near the end of his life, monks asked him to record what he found of interest on his mountain; Stonehouse delivered to them hundreds of poems and an admonition: “Do not to try singing these poems. Only if you sit on them will they do you any good.”
Newly revised, with the Chinese originals and Red Pine’s abundant commentary and notes, The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse is an essential volume for Zen students, readers of Asian literature, and all who love the outdoors.
After eating I dust off a boulder and sleep
and after sleeping I go for a walk
on a cloudy late summer day
an oriole sings from a sapling
briefly enjoying the season
joyfully singing out its heart
true happiness is right here
why chase an empty name
Stonehouse was born in 1272 in Changshu, China, and took his name from a cave at the edge of town. He became a highly respected dharma master in the Zen Buddhist tradition.
Red Pine is one of the world’s leading translators of Chinese poetry. “Every time I translate a book of poems,” he writes, “I learn a new way of dancing. And the music has to be Chinese.” He lives near Seattle, Washington.
Copper Canyon Press