The Clouds Should Know Me By Now contains poems from Chinese Buddhist poet monks between 779 and 1912. The poets in this 211 page book include: Chia Tao, Chi- Chi, Chih Yuan, Han-Shan Te- Ch’ing, Shih-Shu, Ching An, and The Nine Monks of the late Tenth Century. There is a short introduction containing background information on each poet. These introductions before each poet’s poems give the reader an understanding of the poet’s life. Notes are also included for each poem that is extremely helpful. The book also contains a preface, book introduction, epilogue, index of the first lines, and about the contributor’s pages. The poems are in Chinese and translated into English. The Clouds Should Know Me by Now is an excellent addition to your library if you have an interest in Buddhism, China, poetry, or the outdoors.
Below are three example poems from the book:
ON A Painting
Ching An (1851-1912)
Translation by J.P. Seaton
A pine or two,
three or four bamboo,
cliffside cottage, long, solitary, silence.
Only floating clouds come to visit.
WRITTEN AT THE DWELLING OF A RECLUSE
Chia Tao (779-843)
Translation by Mike O’ Connor
Even though you have a brushwood door,
it hasn’t been shut for a long time;
A few clouds, a few trees
have been my only companions.
Still, I suspect if you stay longer,
people will learn of this spot;
We’ll see you moving
higher on the mountain.
(Fifth in the series)
Translation by Burton Watson
Don’t ask why I shut my gate-
from times past, few comings and goings.
The Way should rest in simplicity,
the body’s best suited to vacant idleness.
On four sides green moss surrounds me,
my lone window dotted with rain spatters.
And where do dream-wanderings take me?
To where autumn is coloring the riverside hills.
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