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Thousang Buddha Peak on Emeishan

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范成大





輿









退

White Cloud Gorge
        Fan Chengda 1126-1193

These twin streams, do they flow from the Milky Way?
I long to trace their source, ask at sylph's bower.
Scudding surf, splattering spray, batters my blue boat,
Look up! Two cliffs split the heavens!
Shu-Shu, light summer rain, slippery stone steps,
Tse-Tse, incessant alpine wind, fills my towering sail.
Solitary quest, perilous, great marvels emerge,
Don't laugh at Tuizhi, who howled on Mount Tai!
 
Báiyún Xiá
Fàn Chéngdà 1126-1193

Shuāng xī yí cóng yún hàn xià,
Wǒ yù qióng yuán wèn xiān shè.
Fēi lán jiànmò shù lán yú,
Què wàng liǎng yá tiān yī xià.
Shūshū shǔ yǔ huá wēi tī,
Cècè shān fēng yē gāo jià.
Yōu xún xiǎnjué Tài qí shēng,
Mò xiào tuì zhī hào Tài huá.
 
Translator: Dongbo 東波

Notes:
Traditionally one would travel up from 成都 Chengdu on the Minjiang 岷江 to 峨眉山. This poem appears to cover the boat trip approaching Emeishan and then the very slippery climb to the top. When there is misty rain on Emeishan, which is often, the stone steps are indeed treacherous! Whether it is a thin coating of loess dust or a transparent moss, I don't know, but the steps become as slippery as ice to the point where you can only proceed by crawling on hands and knees. My first direct contact with Emeishan was in the transit lounge of the Narita airport in Japan thirty years ago. A young American was resting on a sofa with a cast on one leg. He had been hiking on Emeishan and slipped off the path and down a thirty foot embankment breaking his leg. He lay there for four hours before someone heard his cries and then endured being bundled in pain down the mountain in a sedan chair. Not a happy experience!

Tui Zhi is the courtesy name for Han Yu, the famous Tang statesman, Confucian and poet. When he climbed Tai Hua (Huashan in Shaanxi) he reached the peak but in terror howled from the top that he couldn't get down. On steep slopes going up is always easier than coming down!


 
 
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