An Evening Poem - Enlightenment



A breach of clear heaven opens

In the clouds. To the Southwest

The River stretches smooth and still.

There are tattered skirts of mist

On the sandbars. On the wall a

Magpie shakes his wet feathers

And scolds. Beyond the rooftops

The thunder is still grumbling.

I decide to profit by

The fresh air and pay myself

A small sum of peace. I hunt

Busily for some fine words

To announce the return of

Good weather, and the splendor

Of the evening, but I have

No one to share them with.

So I sit quietly and watch

The Milky Way light up.

I am suffused with its glow.

All my spirit is illuminated.


Ch'en Yu Yi - T'ang Dynasty, China

Translation by Kenneth Rexroth