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  #1  
Unread 04-15-2021, 09:11 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default Master Xi

Master Xi

He walked among us several hundred years,
his secret: dragon fruit and radishes.
He wrote a book called “Nothing Lives That Is”
on why impermanence defangs all fears.

He laughed and played the ch’in till he became
like water moving; like a mirror, still.
When he imposed the nothing of his will
there was no horrible he could not tame—

goodbye, pride tiger; goodbye, dragon strife.
We worship him because he, with his mind,
tried in a time when virtue had declined;
then he ascended and became death-life.
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  #2  
Unread 04-16-2021, 05:54 AM
Bill Carpenter Bill Carpenter is offline
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I'm not sure whom this refers to, but it is a pleasant, instructive, respectful tribute. The understated meter, regular but varied, enhances it. I haven't been able to appreciate "tried," which can convey "tried but failed" or "at least he tried, unlike most." It does not seem to match what he accomplished, or the smooth diction.
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Unread 04-16-2021, 07:57 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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As always with your stuff, Aaron, this holds my interest.

I'm not certain of the poem's attitude toward Xi. The dragon fruit and radishes make the poem feel like a send-up, and there are other details, like the awkwardly worded book title, that suggest the whole thing may be meant that way. From a certain point of view, Xi's goals could be seen as ridiculous. I'm intrigued by and respectful of the sort of attempts at transcendence Xi represents, so for me, L2, which I read as a joke ridiculing Xi, clashes with the rest.

FWIW
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Unread 04-17-2021, 06:48 AM
Jason Ringler Jason Ringler is offline
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Hi Aaaron,

I got an uncle telling his neices and nepwhews this story which he sums up so awesome with "death-life". It is ridiculous legend and poetry together and for me very enjoyable.
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Unread 04-17-2021, 07:05 AM
Bill Carpenter Bill Carpenter is offline
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"Tried in a time" -- non-effort is a tenet of the Taoist world, trying by not trying. Also conserving virtue, not-self, and the Way. Much to explore here.
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Unread 04-17-2021, 09:07 AM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Hey Pooch (if I may), you seem to know what you are doing (I don’t), so I will simply stand back several dozen li and see what goes.
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Unread 04-18-2021, 07:08 AM
Jason Ringler Jason Ringler is offline
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Reading this more, I think of the Chuck Norris memes, this might help explain the poems attitude.
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Unread 04-23-2021, 05:40 PM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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A nit for me is the meter of this line:
goodbye, pride tiger; goodbye, dragon strife.

But all in all, this is basically a schooling on the point and form.
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Unread 04-28-2021, 04:47 AM
Bill Carpenter Bill Carpenter is offline
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Look at it this way, Daniel, as an out-there IP line:

Iamb--double trochee--spondee--iamb. Pretty amazing!
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