Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday

I live on the mountain
no one knows.
Among white clouds
eternal perfect silence

Han Shan, Cold Mountain Poems, no. XCV (trans. J.P. Seaton)

When men see Han-shan
They all say he's crazy
And not much to look at
Dressed in rags and hides.
They don't get what I say
& I don't talk their language.
All I can say to those I meet:
"Try and make it to Cold Mountain."

Gary Snyder, Cold Mountain Poems 24


Struan said...

The mountain sheep are sweeter,
But the valley sheep are fatter;
We therefore deem’d it meeter
To carry off the latter.

The Welsh Marches weren't always calm and bucolic :-)

Mike C. said...

Crikey... I had to look that up -- I thought it must be Chesterton or someone of that ilk, amazed to see it's Thomas Love Peacock. I read "Nightmare Abbey" years ago, and that wasn't very good, either.

Sheep-wise, there's still a fair bit of raiding and rustling going on -- entire flocks can vanish into a (big) van overnight, and head off for Birmingham. Fewer heads on poles, though.


Struan said...

I always get the urge to toot on a kazoo in the quiet bits of C16th polyphony.

Less plonking:

But for you the Cuillin would be
an exact and serrated blue rampart
girdling with its march-wall
all that is in my barbarous heart

Sorley MacLean

Struan said...

PS: Were the gods of photographic grant giving ever to smile on me with sufficient beneficence, I would embark on a tour of Asian holy mountains.

Veriword: anesupec, the Mayan god of non-prescription medicines.

Mike C. said...


I quite like to toot a kazoo myself. We passed up the Pergolesi Stabat Mater in Winchester Cathedral today in favour of tea and hot cross buns. Good call, I say.

N.B. it may not be quite clear from these JPEGs, but these "mountains" are entirely made of cloud -- there are no peaks quite so impressive for some miles. The one in the bottom picture is simply floating away.

Those Asian holy mountains turn up all over the place...