Tai Qi and Po­etry

太极与诗

Special Focus - - Contents - Shang Zhen

Itruly love to watch oth­ers prac­tic­ing Tai Qi. One time, in a town square I saw dozens of peo­ple prac­tic­ing Tai Qi. I stayed there, watch­ing them from the be­gin­ning un­til the very end of their ses­sion.

Prac­tic­ing Tai Qi and writ­ing po­etry have many things in com­mon. For ex­am­ple, both need a mind at peace that can in­spire the prac­ti­tion­ers’ imag­i­na­tion and tal­ents. Both need con­cen­tra­tion, which al­lows prac­ti­tion­ers to fly free be­tween the Earth and the Heaven. Both in­volve a gen­tle ges­ture on the sur­face yet strength in char­ac­ter. Fur­ther­more, both must be pre­cise yet flex­i­ble.

Be­ing firmly grounded means you are equipped with abun­dant life ex­pe­ri­ences, and nav­i­gat­ing the ethe­real realms re­veals a deep re­gard for cul­ture and aes­thet­ics.

A poem is not a prod­uct of iso­la­tion, but is closely in­ter­twined with worldly de­tails. A poet must be en­trenched in the world around them, keenly ob­serv­ing phe­nom­ena, hon­ing their skills, build­ing their knowl­edge, and cul­ti­vat­ing their abil­ity to ex­pe­ri­ence epiphany.

I do not be­lieve that a per­son who lives in iso­la­tion, keep­ing their doors and win­dows closed to the sights and sounds of the world, will ever write a good poem.

(From Ran­domNotesinSanyu

Tang , The Writ­ers Pub­lish­ing House. Trans­la­tion: Jon Gart­ner)

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