Tuesday, December 3, 2013

IMUNURI Prompt: Mountain Songs

Hanyu Pass (from Every China)
Who is today's dweller of that cave house?
Destiny has brought us together
        from all corners of the world.  

From Crossing Hangu Pass, by Zhan Shichuang, translated by Charles Q. Wu

Poets of place, lovers of earth lore, take out your pens (or tablets), croon to the hills!
These images of Hanyu pass visualize the mountain site where Laozi wrote the Dao de Ching.

Check out this site that features planet-wide MOUNTAIN SONGS.
What is your local place, hill, or peak whispering through you?

 Find the clickable Googlemap here: www.mountainsongs.net
of click one of these: http://www.mountainsongs.net/translator_.php?id=21

Riffzone: take it low, write from the mountain's base ... or write a poem of climbing... or take it high to the peaks. Write a poem of restoring earth...
What functions do mountains have in the earthsystem, and/or the worlds' creative capacity, epic poets of earth?

Riff 2: Start a poem with a line you find on Mountain Songs site (and credit it, those ancestral poets love to be praised)

Riff 3: Sparking from this entry on Mountain Songs, "All Nature's Splendors Captured in This Gourd-Heaven"

What would we see if we hopped into your Gourd Heaven? Give us a tour in your mountain-song...

Tags: mountain-song, poem, <poet's moniker>, epic-earth

Epic-Earth: An ongoing series of earth-related prompts as part of an Imunuri experiment to dwell repeatedly on a theme and its riffs, and/or the possible poetry challenge, bit by bit, of producing an epic or body of poems...
Notes from Mountain Songs: (By Professor Charles Q. Wu)
This inscription alludes to an ancient Daoist legend, "The Gourd Master", recorded first in the History of the Later Han. Here's a version from The Biographies of Spirit Immortals, by the Doaist scholar-practitioner Ge Hong (283-363).

"The Gourd Master was a Daoist healer. He came from afar to sell medicine at the market. After he had sold all the herbal pills in his gourd, he would come home and hang the empty gourd over his seat. After sunset he would turn around and jump into the gourd to no one knows where.

Changfeng, the market officer, was the only one who saw this from upstairs and realized that the Master was no ordinary person. He swept the floor in front of the Master's seat on a regular basis and even brought him food. But curious as he was about the Master's strange disappearances, he never dared ask any question.

One day the Master said to him, 'Come again at dusk when no one is around.' Changfeng did as he was told. The Master said, 'When you see me jump into the gourd, just follow me and you will be there.' Changfeng followed the Master's instruction and tried. As soon as he put out one foot, he was already in there before he knew it. Once inside, what he saw was no longer the gourd, but buildings and scenic objects of all shapes and colors, gates leading to more gates, and walkways leading from on pavilion to another. With the Master were dozens of retainers.

I'm an immortal,' said the Master. 'I disgraced my celestial position because my subordinates did not serve with diligence. On that account I was banished from above and returned temporarily to the mundane world. You are teachable. That's why you were allowed to see me (as I once was).'

From this story comes the phrase "Gourd Heaven", and apt symbol for a classical Chinese garden, which may be limied in space but contains a microcosm of all nature's wonders.

Quoted from Listen To The Fragrance, Literary Inscriptions in Lan Su Yuan, The Portland Classical Chinese Garden by Charles Wu, published by the Portland Classical Chinese Garden www.portlandchinesegarden.org

1 comment:

  1. What a prompt. What a journey this prompt. Thank you Marna for this and the others this past year. How you keep my interest invested. - with kinship - Jason