David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

25 June 2016

Are your poems poems, master?

Who says my poems are poems?
My poems are not poems.
When you know that my poems are not poems,
Then we can speak of poetry.

- from 'Zen Poetics of Ryokan' by Meng-hu, reprinted by Simply Haiku

Ryōkan (1758–1831) 
was a Soto Zen Buddhist monk who lived in Niigata, Japan, as a hermit and a poet

              あ  と  世
              そ  に  の
              び  は  中
              ハ  あ  に
              わ  ら  ま
              れ  ね  じ
              は  ど  ら
           良  ま  も  ぬ
           寛  さ  ひ
           書  れ  と
              る  り
It is not that 
I avoid mixing
With this world;
Better for me is enjoying
Life on my own.
Brushed by Ryokan

via Robyn Buntin  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...