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Thursday 29 October 2015

Hsieh T'iao: Viewing the Three Lakes


File:Lake Vuoksa 1.jpg

island in Lake Vuoksa, on the Karelian Isthmus separating Russia and Finland: photo by Dmitry A. Mottl, 2009

Red clouds mirrored where the waters meet.
From the red terrace -- birds returning,
the encircling plains, mosaic of river isles.
Inklings of spring's luxuriance
as autumn's last yellows fade.

Dusk falling, and sadness
over friends.  No ending
to this connectedness.

Hsieh T'iao (464-499): Viewing the Three Lakes, English version by Barry Taylor, 2015

File:Small Island in Lower Saranac Lake.jpg

Small island in Lower Saranac Lake, Adirondack Mountains: photo by Mwanner, 2007

File:Rila 7 lakes circus panorama edit2.jpg

Panoramic View of the Seven Rila Lakes, Rila Mountains, Bulgaria: photo by Anthony Ganev, 1 July 2007; image by Fir0002, 13 October 2008


The first turn of the Yangtze (Changjiang = Yangzi Kiang), at Shigu, Yunnan Province: photo by Jialiang Gao, 2003

View towards four of the Seven Rila Lakes --
Dolnoto, Ribnoto, Trilistnika and Bliznaka -- in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria: photo by Ivelin Minkov, 17 September 2006


TC said...

Difficult time here, particularly grateful therefore to the long distance company of brilliant friends made through this blog -- thank you Barry!

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Wonderful poem and translation; wonderful having you as a friend, Tom.

tpw said...

Dear TC: I'm always astonished at the breadth of your knowledge, your range of interests, and the keenness of your eye. I feel that opening the "Beyond the Pale" door every day has taught me so much about people and the planet we're hurling around on. Thank you for all that.

Unknown said...

Tom, I love serendipities. Today's lakes and the sage poem, and just as I was editing this poem for a book. Would that our dire crises could catch a bit of rainwater/glacier melt/whatever, and just lie back in the rocks and soak in the air and sunlight... (with an echo of Vassilis' sentiments as always...)


On a lake as large as
heaven the

ducks are as tiny
as dots

Whoever let the rank air into this
perfect perfection?

A thief with rainbow
gauze over half his

face who walks
sideways and takes

daylight with him

But just one window thrown
up in wonder

scatters the butterflies

until they form again
around the sleeping maiden’s


All the old fables and tales
have made the front

pages of our un-modern world

All the final adumbrations

the fire alarm fires

of the heart
and the poorest heart’s rejoicings

When we lift our eyelids beyond their
usual frames

we notice green vineyards
that go on into the indefinite

for miles beyond what
human eyesight can


and angels’ song is most
pleasant under a

tree you’ve planted yourself from a
sprig from the sidewalk

and the hooing and wooing that
goes on in their domain

filtering down through the
branches of that

tree in excited

Sandra said...

watching those wonderful views and reading those lines we can say "life is beautiful" and more when someone makes us see it...thanks Tom!

Hazen said...

Barry Taylor’s rendering of Hsieh T'iao seems perfect. What gorgeous photos! A friendship remembered and renewed is as beautiful as an autumn day.

manik sharma said...


And we are grateful to have you. And this roomful of lakes.