The temple bell dies awayby Matsuo Basho
English version by R. H. Blyth
Original Language Japanese
The temple bell dies away.
The scent of flowers in the evening
Is still tolling the bell.
|-- from This Dance of Bliss: Ecstatic Poetry from Around the World, Edited by Ivan M. Granger|
/ Image by FideNullo /
Twilight in springtime, with evening descending. We sit with Basho on his porch beneath the eaves of his house.
The temple bell itself has already rung and fallen silent. We hear its sustained reverberation as the echo fades into the failing light.
With eyelids half closed, we breathe in the evening air and catch the honeyed scent of spring blossoms. Another breath, slow and deep, in through the nose. Hold it for a heartbeat to taste the sweetness on the air. A delicate moment, suspended and timeless. Then an easy exhale.
As the temple bell fades, a new tone takes its place. We hear a new ringing, clear and pure, in the inner ear. The bell may be silent, but it still rings within us, calling the awareness to prayer.
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