Tuesday Poem

4. Squarings

……. xxxvii

In famous poems by the sage Han Shan,
Cold Mountain is a place that can also mean
A state of mind. Or different states of mind

At different times, for the poems seem
One-off, impulsive, the kind of thing that starts
I have sat here facing the Cold Mountain

For twenty-nine years, or There is no path
That goes all the way
—enviable stuff,
Unfussy and believable.

Talking about it isn’t good enough,
But quoting from it at least demonstrates
The virtue of an art that knows its mind.

Seamus Heaney
Seeing Things
Noonday Press, 1991

Poems of Han Shan