About the Author
Books

POETRY  
PROSE
ESSAYS
INTERVIEW
From the book Kliazma and Yauza
From the book The Wild Rose
From the book Tristan and Isolde
From the book Old Songs
From the book Gates. Windows. Arches
From the book Stanzas in the Manner of Alexander Pope
From the book Stellae and Inscriptions
From the book The Iambic Verses
The Chinese Travelogue  
From An Unfinished Book
From the book The Evening Song
From the book Elegies
From the book The Beginning of a Book
The Chinese Travelogue
(1986)

If you could dull its perspicuity, free it from chaos, limit its gleam,
liken it to a grain of dust, then it would seem to exist clearly.
Lao-Tse
10

Great is the artist who knows no debt
except for his debt to the brush’s play
and his brush enters into the heart of mountains,
enters into the happiness of leaves
with one stroke with one gentleness
rapture, confusion,
with one gesture he enters into immortality
and immortality plays with him.
But he whom the spirit has deserted,
from whom the light has been taken,
who, for the tenth time in a troubled place
searches for the pure spring-water,
which fell from the hand of miracles but will not say:
“These are false miracles!”:
before this person the skies bow
in reverence.

Richard McKane

***

10

Great is the artist who knows no task
but the task of the playing brush:
his brush penetrates the heart of mountains,
penetrates the happiness of leaves,
with a single strike, merely through humility,
elation, merely through embarrassment
he penetrates immortality itself
and immortality plays with him.

But he whom the spirit leaves, from whom
rays are deflected,
who searches a silty spot the tenth time
for a pure spring,
who fell from the hands of miracles, but who’d never say:
miracles are silly –
Before him the heavens bow with esteem.

Andrew Wachtel
1. I was surprised by...
2. The pond speaks...
3. They don’t fall, though they fall...
4. There, on the hill...
5. Do you know...
6. I shall only see...
7. The boat flies...
8. The roofs are raised at the edges...
9. Unhappy...
 10. Great is the artist who knows no debt...
11. With tenderness and depth...
12. Perhaps you are the precious ring of the spirit...
13. Will we really part...
14. Flute answers flute...
15. They say, they have gone on the white road...
16. You know that I love you so much...
17. When we decide to set out...
18. Let us praise our earth...
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