Distant Holy Man
- onDecember 21, 2017
- Vol.38 Winter 2017
- byCho Oh-hyun
- For Nirvana: 108 Zen Sijo Poems
Tr. Heinz Insu Fenkl 2016
Today, this one day,
on this one day called today
I saw the whole of the sun rise
and saw it all set
Nothing more to see—
a swarm of gnats laying eggs, dying
I am still alive,
long past my time to die,
But consider—today, I don’t feel
as if I’ve lived even this single day
He may live a thousand years,
but the holy man
Is but a distant cloud of gnats
Translated by Heinz Insu Fenkl
From For Nirvana: 108 Zen Sijo Poems.
Translation copyright © 2016 Heinz Insu Fenkl.
Reprinted with the permission of Columbia University Press, New York.