You ask why I make my home in the mountain forest

by Li Po

English version by Sam Hamill
Original Language Chinese

You ask why I make my home in the mountain forest,
and I smile, and am silent,
and even my soul remains quiet:
it lives in the other world
which no one owns.
The peach trees blossom,
The water flows.

-- from Endless River: Li Po and Tu Fu: A Friendship in Poetry, Translated by Sam Hamill

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I smile, and am silent,
and even my soul remains quiet...


These lines give me chills.

The mind at rest, the entire self at rest, all silt having settled, leaving only quiet clarity. One becomes empty, a spacious, silent witness to the world's unfolding.

The peach trees blossom,
The water flows


Fall silent this weekend, witness wonders!








You ask why I make