Alexander Belyaev introduced 2 poems to the participants - a Chinese one 終南別業, Villa on Zhongnan Mountain by Wang Wei and a Japanese - いるか ( iruka), dolphin / exist? by Shuntaro Tanikawa
1. 終南別業, [Eng. - Villa on Zhongnan Mountain] by Wang Wei (701-761)
Villa on Zhongnan Mountain
A fragment drawn by calligrapher Yui Yu Zheng
Wang Wei (701-761)
Zhongnan Mountain Retreat
In the middle of my life
I was fond of the Buddhist Way;
now my life is late and I’m at home,
along the Southern Mountain.
lovely, solitary life,
superb of scenery—life’s affairs
now gone from awareness.
the water’s edge,
I sit and watch
as clouds rise up and appear.
By chance, I happen
upon an aged forest man;
we talk and laugh,
not returning—for we have time.
Another translation -
Villa on Zhongnan Mountain, by Wang Wei
In my middle years I came to much love the Way
and late made my home by South Mountain's edge.
When the mood comes upon me, I go off alone,
and have glorious moments all to myself.
I walk to the point where a stream ends,
and sitting, watch when the clouds rise.
By chance I meet old men in the woods;
we laugh and chat, no fixed time to turn home.
Wang Wei's "Villa on Zhongnan Mountain" from An Anthology of Chinese Literature, Stephen Owen, ed. and trans. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1996) p. 390.
2. いるか ( iruka), [Eng. - dolphin / exist?] by Shuntaro Tanikawa (1931 - )
The author reading dolphin
About the poem -
'The title is “いるか (iruka).” Iruka is dolphin but the word is also used as “iru” (a verb that means “exist”) and “ka” (particle to make a question sentence) in this poem. Which one do you think is meant for “dolphin” or “exist? (iru-ka)” ? He plays on the word and its ambiguity but he said that he never cared about how many “dolphins” are really in the poem. So please figure out by yourself how many word, “dolphin” you can see in the poem'.
Interview with Shuntaro Tanikawa with another 3 poems translated into English
Authors: Lena Vaneyan and Alyosha Prokopyev