“The Girl from Flower Mountain, ” Han Yu

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“On street corners east and west
they teach the Buddhist sutras
Banging bells, blowing horns
rattling the court
Much is made of sins and blessings
to seduce and awe
the listening crowd shoving
— floating waterweeds pressed —
A yellow-robed Taoist also
preaches his texts,
Below his pulpit people are scarce
like morning stars.

The girl from Flower Mountain
(her family follows the tao)
wants to dispel the strange teaching
and return people to the immortal Spirit
She washes makeup away, scrubs her face
puts cap and mantle on
white neck, red cheeks
long black eyebrows
comes then to climb the pulpit
explain the true mysteries.

It’s not allowed to open the bolt
on the temple door
Yet unknown someone leaked
the news around,
now crashing, a shaking
like thundering lightening
sweeping clean the Buddhist temples …. ”

Han Yu (trans. Charles Hartman) ~800 AD

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This entry was posted in Buddhism, Japan, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “The Girl from Flower Mountain, ” Han Yu

  1. dtran288 says:

    Good ole Hanyu always trying to bash Buddhism. Too bad the religion caught like wildfire! I think you might be interested in his memorial proposition to the Tang emperor. He argues how Buddhism would weaken the Tang empire:

    http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/hanyu.html

    Luckily the man was sent into exile instead of getting the death sentence.

    The original Chinese if anyone is interested:

    http://baike.baidu.com/view/878162.htm

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