A Taoist Poem by Han-Shan

A scholar named Wang

Laughed at my poems.

The accents are wrong,

He said,

Too many beats;

The meter is poor,

The wording impulsive.


I laugh at his poems,

As he laughs at mine.

They read like

The words of a blind man

Describing the sun.


(Han-Shan was a legendary figure associated with a collection of poems from the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the Taoist and Chan tradition. No one knows who he was, or when he lived and died.)  



6 thoughts on “A Taoist Poem by Han-Shan

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    1. Ha, thank you. Isn’t it a wonderful poem! I fell in love with it as soon as I read it. It seemed fitting too as recently I was talking to someone who wasn’t keen on my work because of my lack of structure, form, beat, etc. This made me laugh.

      Taoism is a beautiful process of thought too. How the world is seen astounds me. I am only a novice myself when it comes to Taoism, but then again in the vastness of the universe aren’t we all?

      1. Such a wonderful poem! I’m in awe of the simple words used and how easily they produce the most uniquely desired meditation for me. The questions that rise welcomed. And the same person would hate my work, as well. I find it hard to believe they found ways to criticize yours, however.

        Taoism is worth revisiting. And I will. We all are, indeed. So true. Enjoyed the feelings of humbleness just then, thank you.

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