Friday, July 8, 2016

Korean Summer Poems for Rainy Season

With rainy season upon us these days I've been spending my leisure time back here in Thunder Bay Canada reading and drinking tea. Lapsang Souchong with milk is usually my rainy day tea, most especially when it's a bit on the cool side out.  

I have recently started a new venture doing tea ceremonies here in Thunder Bay a few times each month in various locations around town. Mostly outdoors in summer in local park where you can drop by and see and even sample some tea if you like. Details for which can be found at my Where Wisk Way Blog or better still on my FaceBook group page Travelling TeaTime also to be found in the sidebar on this page.  

Pondering the various parks in town and talking with my friends about their favorite park places and experiences I'm reminded of this poem below about this poem below written about a peach orchard high up in the mountains that a Korean poet had discovered :  

Only white gull and I
Know about the thirty-six peaks of Mount Chung-Ryang.
White gull will never tell anyone
But I am suspicious of you, peach blossom.

You might fall into the stream
And, floating by, tell the fishermen about our secret place.
--Yi Hwang  

Upon my moving back to Canada I had come across a Tea Ceremony water container online. I was window shopping :-) It reminded me of the poem below

When a shadow appeared on the water,
I looked up to see a monk crossing the bridge.
Stay, I said, so I could ask
Where he was going.

But, pointing at white clouds, he moved on,
Answering without words. 

(Both the above from Sunset in a Spider Web Sijo Poetry of Ancient Korea Virginia Olsen Baron, Minja Park Kim)

Here are two poems for a rainy day : 

Rainstorm at a Mountain Temple

The gale howling in the valleys
tears out the trees by their roots.
The downpour washes over every peak,
loosening rocks to tumble down the slopes.
The boom of a temple bell
opens the air, in waves.
-- Cho Eun 1900-196?

It is Raining

It is raining, incessantly falling
like tears streaming over sorrow,
Thinking you will be coming
soaked in the rain,
I push my window open
and hold a potted plant in my arms.

It is raining, incessantly falling
while I am expecting you.
I imagine seeing you
smiling in the misty woods 
before I am sent to sleep
by the sound of rain dripping from the eaves. 
--Yi U-Chul 1923-1984

(Both of the above taken from Modern Korean Verse in Sijo Form by Jaihiun Kim)

Well now I'm off to sip more tea and read away until I drift off recalling the rain dripping from the eaves of the garage I'd seen earlier today.... Best wishes and until next time, stay youthfully minded : for that is where inspiration often comes.

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