Damo Staring Down The Wall


 
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Damo's cave, above the Shaolinsi on Songshan

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一休宗純





西

Damo Staring Down The Wall
        Ikkyu 1394-1481 

First translation:

Nine years staring down the wall
        what did he achieve?!
Liang and Wei mountains and rivers
        happily are not poor.
Likewise this master 
        who came from the west
                has No meaning,
Shaolin spring rain
        also autumn typhoons.

Second translation:

Nine years staring down the wall
        what did he achieve?!
Liang and Wei states prospered,
Do not say he brought nothing
        from the west!
Shaolin temple
        spring rains
                and autumn winds.
 
Miànbì Dámó Xià Yībājiǔ
Yīxiū 1394-1481

Jiǔnián miànbì shì hé gōng?
Liáng Wèi shānhé xìng wèi qióng.
Mòdào xī lái wú zǔ yì,
Shànlín chūnyǔ yòu qiūfēng.
 
Translator: Dongbo 東波

Notes:
We give you two contrary translations of this deceptively simple poem. How would you translate it?

 
 
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Japan 日本
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