"Autobiographies of great nations are written in three manuscripts – a book of deeds, a book of words, and a book of art.
Of the three, I would choose the latter as truest testimony." - Sir Kenneth Smith, Great Civilisations

"I must write each day without fail, not so much for the success of the work, as in order not to get out of my routine." - Leo Tolstoy

I have never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think the pleasures of not writing are so
great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again. - John Updike

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour
is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chinese Book of Songs - Ripe Plums Are Falling

ripe plums are falling
now there are only five
may a fine lover come for me
while there is still time

ripe plums are falling
now there are only three
may a fine lover come for me
while there is still time

ripe plums are falling
I gather them in a shallow basket
may a fine lover come for me
tell me his name

- Chinese Book of Songs

Here is a poem sung to the measured rhythms of harvest where plums drop one by one from the vines of birth until, at the last, each as died, full of age and days of youth. So then is a young lover's wistfulness spent upon the measures of the day wooing the plums, the trees, the air, to tell her where she might find her lover. A love which aches in her heart ripened to the point of being tasted, eaten, devoured, until heart and soul are betrothed in time and being and satisfaction. But with each passing youthful wist wished upon the hands of time the young lover's aching prayer is not answered. The lover's name not known. And there, alone, heaves the lover's broken, heavy heart torn in the throes of love with none to love but only whispers upon the wind settling upon the dying echoes of day's dusks. And as night falls so does love's hopes and dreams spent of wasted passion withered upon the vine with none to love in the imaginations of the heart broken of hope and dream. - r.e. slater


Dr. Robert Churchill's Handbook for the Study of Easter Literatures: Book of Songs -

Crossing Delancey: Ripe Plums Are Falling

One of the five Confucian classics, The Book of Songs (Shijing) is the oldest collection of poetry in world literature and the finest treasure of traditional songs left from antiquity. Where the other Confucian classics treat “outward things: deeds, moral precepts, the way the world works,” as Stephen Owen tells us in his foreword, The Book of Songs is “the classic of the human heart and the human mind.” - Amazon Book Description