ddj v 34 witter bynner version
- Bountiful life, letting anyone attend,
Making no distinction between left or right,
Feeding everyone, refusing no one,
Has not provided this bounty to show how much it
Has not fed and clad its guests with any thought of
And, because it lacks the twist
Of mind or body in what it has done,
The guile of head or hands,
Is not always respected by a guest.
Others appreciate welcome from the perfect host
Who, barely appearing to exist,
Exists the most.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
like, wow. it doesn't get much better than this.
unless it would be having the words serenaded
with qin accompaniment
under the glow of a jug of wine
blanketed by la bella luna
all mixed up
frogs, peonies, and wine
cleans lubricates aromatherapy
- Hi Lisa-
I think Bynner is an example of what a poetic rendering should be. It's
not a translation - he wasn't very faithful at all to the Chinese
original. But he really gets to the heart of the thing and a lot of his
verbal dance is truly inspired.
> Bountiful life, letting anyone attend,
> Making no distinction between left or right,
> Feeding everyone, refusing no one,
- --- In TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com, bradford hatcher <bradford@...> wrote:
>agreed with everything, brad. I'd like to think that Witter had a
> Hi Lisa-
> I think Bynner is an example of what a poetic rendering should be. It's
> not a translation - he wasn't very faithful at all to the Chinese
> original. But he really gets to the heart of the thing and a lot of his
> verbal dance is truly inspired.
command of the English languages --and the spaces in between it--
similar to Laozi's command of his language in his time. The heart of
the thing is a good way of putting it. If it weren't for such heart I
wouldn't have taken notice of the minimally worded V47 in a world
reader many moons ago...
I decided to do a little web-searching in honor of Mr. Bynner. The
first part of what follows is the wikipedia entry for him. The 2nd
part has the link to where it was found.
Harold Witter Bynner (August 10, 1881 June 1, 1968) was an American
poet, writer and scholar, known for his long residence in Santa Fe, at
what is now the Inn of the Turquoise Bear.
Bynner was born in Brooklyn, New York, and brought up in Brookline,
Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1902. Initially
he pursued a career in journalism at McClure's Magazine. He then
turned to writing, living in Cornish, New Hampshire until about 1915.
In 1916 he was one of the perpetrators, with Arthur Davison Ficke, a
friend from Harvard, of an elaborate attempted literary hoax. It
involved a purported 'Spectrist' school of poets, along the lines of
the Imagists, based in Pittsburgh. Spectra, a slim collection, was
published under the pseudonyms of Anne Knish (Ficke) and Emanuel
Morgan (Bynner). Marjorie Allen Seiffert, writing as Angela Cypher,
was roped in to bulk out the 'movement'.
In early 1917 he with Ficke travelled to Japan, possibly to escape the
aftermath of the Spectra affair. It was in any case the most
significant poetic exchange between the USA and Japan, until after
World War II.
He had a short spell in academia in 1918/9, at the University of
He then travelled to China, and studied Chinese literature. He
subsequently produced many translations from Chinese. His verse showed
both Japanese and Chinese influences, but the latter were major.
Bynner became more of a modernist, perhaps in consequence, where
previously he had been inclined to parody Imagism, and dismiss the
orientalist pronouncements with which Ezra Pound was free.
He then settled in Santa Fe, in a steady and acknowledged homosexual
relationship. He became a friend of D. H. Lawrence, and travelled with
him and Frieda in Mexico; he much later in 1951 wrote on Lawrence,
while he and his partner Willard Johnson are portrayed in Lawrence's
The Plumed Serpent.
On January 18, 1965, Bynner had a severe stroke. He never recovered,
and required constant care until he died on June 1, 1968. His papers
are archived in the New Mexico State University Library.
An Ode to Harvard and Other Poems (1907)
The Little King (1914)
The New World (1915)
Iphigenia in Tauris (1916) translator
Spectra (1916) poems with Arthur Dickson Ficke
Grenstone Poems (1917) poems
Pins for Wings
A Canticle of Pan (1920)
Roots (1929) poems
The Jade Mountain (1929) translations from Chinese with Kiang Kang-hu
Indian Earth (1929) poems
Guest Book (1935) poems
Selected Poems (1943)
The Way of Life, according to Lao Tzu (1944)
Take Away the Darkness (1947)
Journey with Genius (1951) memoir of D. H. Lawrence
New Poems (1960)
Selected Poems (1978)
The following biography is from: http://www.bynnerfoundation.org/
WITTER BYNNER (1881-1968)
By Paul Horgan
In the more than eight decades of his life, he was a tireless member
of a rare species in our cultural scene that of the versatile man of
letters, whose whole working career was given to the act of
literature, with all its involvements not only in many forms of
literary statement, but also in Platonian responses to the civil
values of free existence. He was an eloquent orator, in poetic forms,
who spoke out for the individual dignity of his fellow men, whether in
terms of politics, popular mores, or artistic commitment.
His long career began during his undergraduate days at Harvard, where
he was graduated summa cum laude in 1902. He was the Phi Beta Kappa
poet in 1907 with Young Harvard, which became his first book. It was
followed by a long list of works, extending until 1960, when Alfred
Knopf, the publisher of all but a few of his copious bibliography,
brought out his last, and in many ways, his most remarkable work
entitled New Poems, 1960.
His literary acquaintanceship went back as far as George Meredith, to
whom he made a youthful pilgrimage, and included such other figures as
Mark Twain and Henry James, continuing through the decades to reach
out to the young writers of the mid-sixties, when he suffered the
series of emotional and physical disasters which rendered him inactive
and, in effect, unreachable, until his merciful deliverance by a
blessedly placid death on June 1, 1968, at the age of 87. His last
words, suddenly articulated despite his paralyzed state, were said to
be, "Other people die, why can't I?"
A man of commanding stature, splendid good looks, and infectious
energy, he presided throughout five decades, by common consent, over
the cultural and convivial life in Santa Fe. His wit was a delight. It
ranged through every degree of style, not disdaining ribaldry and
brilliant puns, and it often took your breath away with its instant
response to an unexpected lead. One early example of the latter: on
his first youthful lecture tour he was introduced by a local worthy to
a provincial "lyceum" audience as the "eminent American writer, Mr.
William Winter." Already rigid with stagefright, Bynner was further
appalled by this, but then, joyfully inspired, rose to his feet and
said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I fear I must be the Witter of your
Anyone who spent an intimate evening in his fine library, at Santa Fe,
with a handful of like-minded men and women of wide culture and high
wits, will keenly remember his presence his gusty humor, his generous
sensibility in honor of any honest human manifestation, his range of
civilized and often hilarious reference, and above all his feeling for
the common cause of human life itself, with all his hopes, wonders,
and satisfactions, which he saw as deserving of tolerance and respect
even at its most pathetic or misguided. Beyond all this, his generous
and time-giving encouragement of younger poets was legendary.
Witter Bynner's own art as a poet of deceptively simplistic technique,
embodying forth a unique lyric vision, belongs safely to the future.
He was allied to a great tradition of letters entirely beyond the
fashions of his time a tradition rooted in those verities of literary
art which always survive the fugitive urgencies of any passing hour.
--Courtesy of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry
Through a bequest from Witter Bynner in 1972, The Witter Bynner
Foundation for Poetry perpetuates the art of poetry. The foundation
promotes poetry in American culture and encourages grant proposals
that expand awareness of the positive effects of poetry on society.
I lay on a dune and slept,
Sharp grasses by my head:
While armies far-off warred and wept,
I joined the earth instead. . .
Until I moved my hand
And was awake again
And shook myself out of the sand
To the cold wind of men.
Harold Witter Bynner
From A Canticle of Pan, 1920